Like many Assistants I meet, I never set out to become a support professional. After working in the Hotel Industry, I moved with my family from the UK to The Netherlands. I combined caring for my two children with learning Dutch and coping with the major culture shift. My re-entry into the workplace was as Assistant to the European Engineering Manager of The Dow Chemical Company in Rotterdam. During my 12 years with Dow, I increased my skills by contributing to Dow’s Quality Improvement programme, training the Secretarial team in problem-solving techniques and improving work processes.
I made a break with engineering in 2000 to venture into the world of telecommunications. I spent a year as PA to the Senior Vice President of Customer Operations at KPNQwest in The Hague, where I was again involved in secretarial team building and improvement processes.
Later, I moved back to the petrochemical industry, working as Office Manager for an American Consulting Company after which I spent four years as PA to the VP of Progress Software. In 2008 I took on the role of Office Manager and Assisstant to a VP at Shell Aircraft, where I developed a Mentoring Programme “Secrets of a Successful Assistant”, sharing my experiences and helping PAs with their professional development.
I hold the Professional Certificate of Management from the British Open University Business School and the Diploma Academic Counsellor and Coach from the Academy for Counselling and Coaching.