Job Title: Executive Assistant
Type of Company: My company is a boutique start-up venture capital firm with a special interest in the life sciences. It was started by pharmaceutical companies that were looking to invest in new technology in the biotech and medical device fields.
Education: attended, Castleton State College (Castleton, VT)
Previous Experience: I started out as a software technician and hotline dispatcher for a software company, but have worked as a secretary or executive assistant ever since, first for a gas pipeline company, then for a large financial company and later for a Human Resources software maker.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is the management of our nine executive partners. Most of my days consist of heavy calendar scheduling, reporting, equipment maintenance, assisting with computer/printing issues for the firm, call screening and maintaining relationships with the service vendors.
I have also been a part of project base work which included new office build out/redesign & construction, new telephone research, implementation and training, new office space searches for portfolio companies and hiring initiatives for support staff including, staff accountants, office managers and administrative staff.
At times there is a need to book travel, car service, prepare presentations and type up expense reports.
In this position, I am able to network with lots of companies and outside contacts and that's allowed me to build my knowledge base not only in my field but also in the various business sectors we interact with on a daily basis.
Every day brings new challenges and offers me the ability to learn more about businesses and the ever-changing world of technology.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job is the network of interesting people you get to meet and talk to on a regular basis. It has also given me the confidence and ability to begin building my own virtual and e-commerce business. The worst part of the job is the constant need to re-schedule meetings with little notice and the minimal amount of appreciation from the executive team.
Job Tips: Do your best to increase your typing skills and computer knowledge including Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Do not be afraid of the computer! Also, don't rush the ladder. Start at reception; it will begin to open new doors. For example, a receptionist may assist with accounting projects or work more closely with the IT department. Take the role and make it what you want by learning as much as you can. You will become a valuable employee if you can do more than just answer phones.
Additional Thoughts: In this job, you need to be flexible and have an outgoing but confident personality. If you can do your job and add more value to the company by expanding your role in the company, you will go far and the rewards are well worth the extra effort. Stock and warrants in a company may seem worthless, but, talking from experience, if you stick with it, the reward will open the doors to a wonderful future. I was able to purchase my first home with money earned from a company sale in which I was a stockholder. Be smart, ask questions and make the job what you want it to be. Sure, there are frustrating days, but remember, everyone has them.
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