Executive Leadership Support Forum: Raleigh-Durham: Speaker Interview

Libby Jenkinslibby

Sr. Executive Assistant to Global Head of the Seeds & Traits division
Bayer CropScience LP


For a short time, Libby worked for various companies in support roles until she was hired at Bayer CropScience as an administrative assistant in 2008. Within 3 years she worked her way up to Senior Executive Assistant supporting the Global Head of the Seeds Division where she wears many hats including meeting facilitator and event organizer, and travels both nationally and internationally as a dedicated Senior Executive Assistant. She credits her success and quick rise to her communications background. In her role, she considers herself a bit of a therapist, mother-figure and firefighter.

Libby will be one of the distinguished presenters at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Raleigh-Durham.

Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
Our roles are always changing and networking with peers is necessary to stay on top of changing trends.

Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
Primarily, I look at different ways to develop myself, including taking facilitation courses, computer classes, even public speaking training. Diversify and get outside of that box.

What is one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum?
How to stay relevant in this ever changing working environment.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
I started from scratch. I reinvented myself, learned a new career (the one I am now in) and discovered I am tough and never too old to do it all.

In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?

My computer and phone. With a boss that is mostly in Germany, there is no way I could do my job without staying connected.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
Learn, keep learning, never stop learning. Don’t get stale because then you are just in a job that you will come to hate.

Are there any blogs, books, articles or online forums you recommend reading?
Having a background in journalism, I try to read everything. I don’t have just one go-to. Keep an open mind and look at all sides.

How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
This is difficult because my definition of success changes constantly. If the machine keeps running well, then I think that I have done my job successfully.