Celebrity PA Seminar 2013 Review

Lauren Harper was one of the attendees of the ‘How to be a Better PA’ seminar.

These are her thoughts: “[The seminar] was an informative day which was interactive and fun – plus, there were some delicious cupcakes to enjoy at the end, supplied by Beverly Hills Bakery (I had the red velvet and it was amazing – the butter cream frosting was particularly yummy!)”

“Everyone was provided with a notepad and Donna’s little black book which acts a prompt as you’re taken through the seminar and she shares her experience and stories about her life working as a celebrity PA. Some pages and activities, for example, ask everyone to think about what they love about their job, or put aspects of their lives like ‘love’, ‘career’, ‘happiness’ and ‘trust’ in order of importance to see how balanced your work life and personal life are. This was a really useful tool because it meant that everyone could make the seminar personal to them, and relate the information to their job experiences and expectations.

The guest speakers all brought something individual to the table which kept the seminar fresh. Lucy Brazier discussed the importance of networking and making connections; she gave hints and tips on how to network successfully and also encouraged the use of LinkedIn which has proved to be a useful tool for many PAs and professionals.

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Stephanie Davies introduced us to Laughology which is a great concept – to quote her business card Laughology ‘engages, inspires and motivates people and organisations to be better’ which her activities clearly demonstrated. Stephanie gave some very useful advice on how to keep working relationships healthy – by using a bit compromise so that everyone can work together on the same level.

Last, but not least was Victoria Darragh who gave lots of great advice on the recruitment process and things to take into consideration from everything to including your LinkedIn profile on your C.V and using social media networking to enhance your brand and employability.

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Collectively, Donna and the guest speakers came together to inspire and encourage everyone to enjoy their job, recognise their skills and talents and understand how to use them to continue growing in their career. The energy in the room and people’s reaction to the day suggested that they had been successful in doing just that.”

Sonia Polacci was also an attendee at the seminar.

“On May 17th 2013, I had the amazing opportunity to attend “How To Be A Better PA” seminar, run by Donna Coulling in London. The venue was in the fabulous offices of HAYS, just behind the beautiful St Paul’s Cathedral, early in the morning. We were a group of professional assistants coming from UK, Australia and Italy and, after the opening introductions, Donna has talked about herself, and how she became a Personal Assistant: she is definitely a brilliant, expert and energetic superstar assistant, always smiling while she gives us her suggestions, and explains how to identify and improve our skills, how to prioritise in order to keep 3 steps ahead, which are the differences between a private and a corporate PA, how to juggle multiple clients, how to delegate and work as part (and lead) a team. All these precious and helpful information have been alternated with some delicious coffee breaks, a rich and tasty lunch, television interviews, and a wonderful golden box full of the most coloured and sweetest cupcakes ever

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Also, we had three special guest speakers: the one and only passionate Lucy Brazier (founder of the two leading global publications for Administrative Professionals -Executive Secretary & The VA Magazine) about the importance of networking and building contacts; the sunny Stephanie Davies (Director at Laughology and motivation expert) about how the psychology of laughter and humour can be a personal and working tool and, in the end, the multi-talented Victoria Darragh (Award winning Executive Assistant to multiple Directors at HAYS) who really knows everything about the PA industry, and she’s happy to share her competence with enthusiasm and dedication.

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During this one day course, we shared our professional experiences and, at the same time, we brought our PA skills to the next level, learning the tips and secrets of a successful PA; a deep breath of fresh air, that inspired all of us to push our boundaries going outside the comfort zone, developing our PA profession through a wider and renewed vision: as Donna usually says, it’s all about expanding our role beyond the obvious.”

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