What are the main aspects of your role?
A lot of time is taken up with diary planning and liaising with the various companies that Ben works with. Ben is Deputy CEO of the Financial Times (FT) but is also Chairman/Non Executive Director of another fives companies so it can get rather hectic at times, it certainly keeps me on my toes!
I also look after the Commercial team events so researching and visiting potential venues, caterers etc. Twitter is amazing for recommendations!
What is your morning routine before you get in to the office?
I’m not a morning person so have streamlined my routine for maximum snoozage! I hit the 5 minute snooze button at 7.00am, then shower, breakfast pick a dress (saves time matching tops and bottoms!) before checking my emails and heading for the train station at 7:50am. I have to check emails early as I like to know what I’m walking into that morning, working for a daily newspaper you never know what may have happened overnight!
What time do you get into the office and what time do you leave?
I usually arrive at 9.00am (trains dependent!) and leave around 6.00pm. Lunch is usually at my desk but I try to get out at least once a week.
What does an average day look like?
Apart from the usual diary management, calls etc, today looked liked this: I arrived at 9.00am, read through and prioritised emails. Checked voicemails for calls to be returned. Arranged Ben’s place at the “40th Anniversary of the Admission of Women to Jesus College”, his Alma Mater. I then printed off table plans and place settings for a dinner we are hosting in Cannes next week. I finalised show flow and liaised with the restaurant and AV company in Cannes on the final details. Following that I finalised and printed out travel packs for 2 Executives going to Cannes. Designed and printed awards certificates for our “Distributors of the Year”. Put together the weekly report for distribution to the global team. Arranged a shooting day for 4 people – a prize which Ben won at a recent auction.
In the afternoon I wrote sent out first draft dates for a Superskills Experiences board dinner which we are hosting at the FT office. Arranged a mail out of the brand new il Sole 24 Ore version of our How To Spend It magazine to key clients. I then spent a frustrating 30mins on the phone trying to get Ben’s Sky satellite dish fixed – still no joy! Before finally typing up & distributing minutes from the monthly team meeting. My last task of the day was to update Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. On top that I also did all the confidential bits I can’t mention!
What do you have for lunch?
Luckily we have a great subsidised canteen so I can pop up there and grab something, or head out to Eat for a “hot pot” or Pret for a salad.
What is the hardest part of your day?
What do you enjoy most about your role?
It’s amazingly varied so I don’t feel like it’s groundhog day every day. There’s also the chance to get really involved in projects too, due to the different companies that Ben works with. Organising the events is a highlight, it’s hard work but really satisfying to see everything come together on the night.
What has been your career highlight?
For each of the roles I’ve had at the FT (4 and counting in 14 years!) I’ve been personally asked to fill the role rather than apply for a vacancy. It just goes to show that hard work is rewarded!
What do you do in the evening with your spare time?
I used to play netball 3 times a week, though that has stopped now I’m pregnant!
What is the one piece of advice you would give to other assistants?
Never say no, if you can’t do something come up with a (usually better) alternative.
What would you do if you were not an assistant?
Shoe designer! That would justify the boxes and boxes of shoes I currently have…