About Me

Donna Coulling shot at her home in Belsize Park, London. NW3

Donna is known as an expert in her field and has made many television appearances as a Celebrity Personal Assistant including:

I’m with the Band – Channel 4 – finding Lee Ryan from Blue an assistant

Pete Burns’ PA – Living TV – 10 episodes helping Pete Burns hire an assistant

As a TV Presenter in her own right she is regularly seen presenting several fashion brands on QVC and can currently be seen on several infomercials on UK TV for various kitchen gadgets and the MacMillan Cancer Coffee Campaign for TV and Cinema. In 2015 she also performed as a presenter in the hugely popular theatre production You Me Bum Bum Train in London’s West End.

As a popular speaker and seminar leader, in 2011 she was speaker and panelist at the Office* show at Earls Court – a professional trade show for PA’s, ran a seminar for Presenters at Spotlight, a guest speaker and awards presenter at Hays PA of the Year at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel and judge, guest speaker and presenter at the Mayfair PA of the Year at the Mayfair Hotel.

In 2012 she presented and spoke at Planet Hollywood for Executive PA Magazine, The VA Conference 2012 in Coventry, ExecSec Summit at Heythrop Hall, Oxfordshire, Olswang LLP and BDO LLP in London.

In 2013 Donna was a presenter and speaker at the Behind Every Leader conference in LA and the 5th National EA & PA Convention in Sydney. Also, at the Conference and Hospitality show in Leeds, World of Executive PA in Kuala Lumpur, The Office* Show in both London and Sydney and The Corporate PA Summit in Perth, Australia.

In 2014 she presented and ran training courses at The Corporate PA Summit in Auckland, New Zealand, was keynote speaker at the launch of the PA Hub in York, Advertisers Week Europe at BAFTA, London, ExecSec Summit in Oxfordshire and for Ernst & Young, London.

During 2015 she has been guest speaker at The Boundary in association with Executive PA Magazine in London, Keynote speaker and judge at the Scottish PA of the Year Awards in association with Hays Secretarial in Glasgow, ran three seminars at the PA Life Training Day in London and was keynote speaker at the CBRE inaugural PA Network event.

2016 events included presenting for the Manchester PA Network and the Welsh NHS PA Conference in Cardiff . Donna also filmed the pilot for the game show Categorical and appeared in the short film Singularity.

2017 so far, includes lecturing for the Angela Mortimer Business Executive Academy in London, guest speaker at the Odeon Cinema PA training day in Manchester and at various PA networking events nationwide and guest judge for the Yorkshire PA of the Year in Leeds.

She has had features written on her and her work in various publications including: Easy Living Magazine, Executive PA Magazine, Executary News, PA Life Magazine, the Mayfair Times, The Independent and Women’s Health and Fitness.

Donna launched her first e-Book in the summer of 2014 ‘The Chamber of Celebrity PA Secrets’, which is available worldwide on Amazon. 

Donna Coulling - PA

Donna trained as an actor at the renowned Italia Conti Academy graduating in 1991 and performed in various plays and musicals for the following six years. As work wasn’t coming through as fast and furious as she hoped she decided to get a ‘proper’ job, this came in the form of working for an artiste’s agent where she stayed for the next four years. Little did she know that this would become the foundation training for the career she now has…

With her new found knowledge of contracts, riders and clauses she thought the movie world was ready for her and started working for a film production company. However, without investigating the job correctly it comprised of typing deals and memo’s for three months and not skipping from trailer to trailer on a movie set so she moved on. Next as the production secretary on ‘The Graduate’ which had just opened in the West End, exciting as it was to be part of a hit show Donna still felt unfulfilled and literally ‘made up’ the job of a freelance PA to actors whether based here in the UK or from overseas and working here and contacted all of the top agents in London.

Fortunately, timing was on her side and her first client (who she is still with) was Helena Bonham Carter, soon to be followed by Rachel Weisz, Sir Derek Jacobi and many others. Now over seventeen years on she has still maintained her original client list and that list continues to grow.

 

8 Responses to About Me

  1. romeo says:

    woow, such a strong women, incredible. Where is the best place to start for being a CPA?

    wish you the best Donna

    • Hi Romeo, thank you for your words. Where are you based? I run seminars in London on how to be a better PA and how to be a celebrity PA – please check the seminar tab on the homepage to give you more information – next celebrity PA seminar is October 17th, All best wishes, Donna

  2. Tami says:

    Hi Donna, I happened to stumble upon your blog while searching for information on assistant positions in the entertainment industry. I just wanted to tell that your page has been very inspiring and I am definitely going to follow the advice you offer. Unfortunately, I live in America, so I can’t attend your semiars in person. Any plans on holding seminars in NYC? Thanks again for the advice!

    Best Wishes,
    Tami

    • Hi Tami, thanks so much for taking the time to look at my site. I’d love to to run a seminar in NYC but would need someone to ask me 😉 ! Do look up Bonnie Low Kramen who runs seminars there, she’s fabulous. And if you want to email me at donna@donnacoulling.com i’ll get in touch if i do get to run something there. All best wishes, Donna

  3. Alexa says:

    Hello, I came across your blog whilst searching for PA advice. I just wondered if you could give me any advice as someone that wants to become a PA. I know you offer seminars, but i presume these are for people who are already in the industry and want to further their career? I am 21 years old and I am coming to the end of my degree, which does not relate to becoming a PA at all. I just wondered where I should start if i am interested in becoming a PA, i love keeping busy and I am always organising everything, so feel this is the path for me! Would you recommend a course, for example the pitman one as a starter or anything else?

    Thank you for your time.

    • DonnaCoulling says:

      Hi Alexa, thanks for your question, my seminar is for people who are looking to get into the industry or who want refreshing with some new tips as ideas, i would recommend you come and try it or one-on-one coaching if a whole day is difficult for you?

      All best wishes

      Donna

  4. Lernice Parker says:

    Hi Donna,

    It has been very refreshing to stumble along your website. Im a new trained actor although Ive been a trained PA for over 8 years. I need to find out about doing freelance PA work so that I can work on my acting auditions. Please help with any agencies that you know that may hire like this?

    Regards

    Lernice

  5. Sabrina says:

    Hi Donna,

    I’m Italian, and I was wondering if you know if this fantastic job has success also in my country, because, to be honest, I never heard about it in Italy.
    My university course is Disciplines of Art, Music and Enterteinment and even if my dream is to become an actress, I’m a good speaker, I love to meet new people, especially in the field of art, organizing events, and become a PA will be amazing. I’m studying English, French and Spanish and
    I was thinking of spending a year in London after my graduation to try to become a part of this world … What should I do first? Many compliments xx

    Sabrina

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