Executive Leadership Support Forum: Boston: Speaker Interview
Senior Executive Assistant
Nichol will be one of the distinguished presenters at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Boston.
Why is the Executive Leadership Support Forum important for executive assistants?
I believe that anyone can benefit from the learnings and experiences of their peers. This Forum, specifically its one-room/panelists-only approach, offers a unique opportunity to hear real stories from real people in your line of work. If you are the kind of person who wants to continually grow and learn from others, opportunities like this are important to take advantage of.
Independently, what have you done to work towards professional development in the past?
I annually attend conferences held by the ASAP organization (American Society of Administrative Professionals) and this year I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone by serving on their Advisory Council and I’ll even be teaching a class at their upcoming event in September. My company also offers a Professional Women’s group, where we are lucky to hear from some of the top female talent in our company. It’s a very inspiring program.
What is one thing you hope to learn or discuss with your peers at the ELS Forum?
I want to see a different perspective. I’m excited to see how panelists will respond differently to any one problem.
Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.
My role is constantly evolving and I challenge myself to take on every opportunity; that is what I’m most proud of. As a recent story: I was tasked with generating the overall content outline for an annual company-wide meeting representing about $130k in spend. This is something I’d never done before and, if done incorrectly, could be a money suck, a waste of time and perhaps even demoralizing to my organization! I was intimidated, but I met with managers and staff across the organization to hear about what they expected and what they wish-listed. Many people mentioned ‘avoiding death by PowerPoint’, so I pitched using videography to tell some of our key stories. Our marketing team didn’t have the bandwidth to do that so I rolled up my sleeves, learned how to use our videography equipment and lighting, storyboarded out the scenes, wrote scripts, directed and shot our speakers. In the end we received amazing feedback on how engaging these videos made the overall event. That’s something out of the EA wheelhouse… but why do we need a wheelhouse in the first place?
In your mind, what is one tool you can’t live without or find especially helpful in your position?
Microsoft Office and Google.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?
Be braver, sooner.
How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?
If my managers and projects are on-point and the business is thriving; I am a success. If we’re not hitting our targets and KPIs, I am not satisfied.