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PA of the Year

Rachel Kershaw

EA Rachel Striving to Inspire Others

Rachel works as an Executive Assistant to the Area Vice President at Worldwide Technology based in Canary Wharf, London.

Rachel has progressed up throughout her career to her current position, having started her career working as a Receptionist. From there she progressed to Secretary, then Office Manager, then Personal Assistant to now, finally, an Executive Assistant. She says it is a role that she has grown into with time and experience, and she truly loves her career, striving to be the best at whatever she does.

Naturally, with the type of role she holds, Rachel has faced many challenges. It's part and parcel of the role, and something she encounters daily, with things like last minute calendar changes, flight request changes last minute (usually out of business hours). Rachel says that "these are things that drive me, I love a challenge."

It is very apparent that she is passionate about her career. A contributing factor to her success is the environment she works within. Her organisation are great employers, having ranked in the 'UK Best Workplaces' in the 'Great Places to Work Awards' for the last few years. Rachel talks about having many friends within the company, saying they have a great team with lots of events and opportunities to socialise together. She continued by saying that the fact the company has ranked so highly, and that she has been invited to attend the awards proves that the company and her position are highly thought of and is one of her many career highlights. She tries wherever possible to contribute to the positive, happy and healthy working culture that is in place, saying "I believe in an inclusive and dynamic workforce."

She described one of the most recent challenges she had to overcome, explaining that "recently, one of our executives from the leadership board had planned to come to London (from the US) - with nearly no advance notice what so ever. Typically I have months' notice allowing me to work with the wider teams, to plan and create a GREAT corporate agenda which would list and detail of their meetings, how to get from the airport to hotel, suggest restaurants, what time they must leave one meeting, to get to the next, including the various routes, cost of Ubers etc. On this occasion, we had only a few days' notice. My boss and I set aside good time on the Friday evening and then throughout the weekend - to put together a last minute agenda - I do feel that in these situations, there is absolutely no reason to waste energy worrying and stressing, it changes nothing at all. The end result was as amazing as always! Just one example, of many!"

It's apparent from the way she describes her role that she is incredibly passionate about her career. She has been expanding her network and has been becoming more active on LinkedIn, connecting with fellow PAs and EAs within the industry. She is finding inspiration from those willing to share best practice, tips and advice to help others. Rachel describes her current network as "a solid network of people who love to assist to the best of our abilities, and beyond!!"

She is now aiming to emulate those that have inspired her. She has recently come across a saying - "Your smile is your logo, your personality is your business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark." She says, "by walking around with a bounce in my step, a wiliness to help others and be kind, I hope, professionally and personally, that I do inspire others. At present, our London office manager reports into me, so I manage her, she aspires to become an EA one day, I hope this is because I have set a GREAT example for her!"

Rachel's future aspirations are clear - to enjoy her work, become 'the best' EA out there, to win awards and inspire others to do the same.

When we asked Rachel why she would like to win this award, she said, "I am passionate about what I do, I am always trying my best to go above and beyond. For me, winning the SuperAchievers Award would mean that I can become a role model to the office manager and also to lots of young ladies across the globe by sharing my achievements and my story of how it became. I have little education under my belt - I didn't go to university, I worked from the age of 13, full-time by 15 when I left school. I am proud of myself and would like to share my story. Anything is possible when you believe in yourself."

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