I am the PA to Luxury Publishing Director in the magazine world of ELLE, ELLE Deco and Harpers Bazaar & Town and Country!

What are the main aspects of your role?

Looking after the Group Publishing Director for ELLE, ELLE Decoration, Harpers Bazaar and Town & Country.  Diary management, travel bookings, client meetings as well as assisting the Events Manager with guest list, product bags and the events. The Publishing Director (GPD) is also on boards for Veuve Clicquot, Battersea Dogs & Cats home, CEW and is President of the Education Pillar at BFC.

What is your morning routine before you get in to the office?

I check all emails and the diary for the day, I live in Northampton so I have a 45 minute train commute into London which gives me plenty of time! I have breakfast on route and yes I am one of those women that applies make up on the train!

What time do you get into the office and what time do you leave?

I try to get in for 8.30/9am our office day starts at 9.30am. The GPD is in the office from 8.30am so I try not to be too far behind but she is self sufficient for most things.  Our day finishes at 5.30pm so I am lucky most days I can leave on time, if it is busy I can be in the office until later.  If we have events I will work at these until they end which can be anything up to 1.00am!

What does an average day look like?

Busy.  Looking after a GPD involves a lot of diary management, with three busy editors who demand meetings at a moments notice. There are also a lot of client events and the GPD is on a lot of boards which means keeping on top of minutes and what she will need to prepare for each meeting.  Budget time in magazines is extensive and stressful so my job is to keep everything running smoothly.  I also help with the Publisher of Elle and Harpers when their PA is busy.

What do you have for lunch?

It depends, mostly a jacket potato but we are based in Carnaby Street so the selection of places to eat is vast!

What is the hardest part of your day?

Staying on top of things. Mistakes happen and you have to toughen up and learn from them and move on quickly.  A thick skin is essential as you are the “god” of the diary so you can get a lot of grief when you are unable to move certain things

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The clients and meeting new PA’s.  Obviously working in magazines sounds glamorous and parts are, such as the ELLE Style Awards and Harpers Women of the Year, but you still work in an office and deal with normal people!

I am lucky to enjoy working with my GPD she is a remarkable woman and we have a good relationship

What has been your career highlight?

Helping to organise successful events and receiving praise for that.  Also working with the CEW team on events has been great.

What do you do in the evening with your spare time?

I usually socialise with friends or go to the gym.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to other assistants?

A thick skin.  Let things ride over you where possible.  Do not take things personally and learn your boss’s work style so that you can have a better understanding of their mood.

What would you do if you were not an assistant?

A make up artist, I love following Lisa potter Dixon on Twitter (@lisa_benefit) as having worked with her for ELLE she is an inspiration and eyebrow guru!

A day in the life: Catherine Pile, ELLE Magazine

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