By Emily Poyser-Beezley, Office Manager and PA to Chief Executive, AMRC

Published: 10 October 2018

Even as a child, I always had a keen interest in stationery and being organised. I loved my desk in my room, all the highlighter pens and listening to music on cassette disc. At college I studied an RSA diploma course in Administration Skills, learning about audio-transcription (never used) and touch-typing (does typing without looking count?). 

Even though I picked up some great skills and learning, I decided to study Social Policy at university in Cambridge which allowed me to learn about social studies, welfare, health and more. This led me to the start of a career working front-line as a support worker for homeless people across several charities, including The Big Issue and Crisis, both in Cambridge and London.

Circumstances then led me back to administration and I have since worked across different sectors as an administrator; receptionist; and PA. 

Working as a PA is certainly a challenge. No two days are the same. At my probation meeting at AMRC, Aisling Burnand asked me what I felt the biggest challenge was and I answered, honestly - supporting a CEO. This is because they are external facing and meeting with various stakeholders on a regular basis. 

As all PAs know, diary management is a task-and-a-half.  Trying to factor in not only the requested meetings, but priorities; thinking time; travel time; and eating time! I feel my strengths include having a calm and friendly manner; and being willing to network across the sector. 

I made sure early on at AMRC that I would meet with as many of the PAs to trustees that I could as ‘putting a face to the name’ makes calling or emailing someone for a priority meeting so much easier. I have also met up with other PAs across member charities to build up the rapport and share experience.

I really enjoy networking outside of work and attend two to three PA events per week in London via clubs such as The PA Club, Miss Jones PA and Landon PA network. Meeting PAs from other sectors and in different roles allows me to swap ideas and compare notes. I have been able to attend some wonderful venues and link with some great speakers via the seminars that are sometimes included. 

My ideal would be to set-up a PA network for AMRC members, as I am sure there are other charities who may only have 1 person doing the role who may need support from a network so watch this space. I hope to meet with more PAs across the AMRC membership in the coming months.