Sara took out Secretary PA Diploma to strengthen her skills as a PA and improve her career prospects.
What course did you take at Souters?
I took the PA/Secretary Diploma (run on Saturdays).
What is your current job?
I am the Deputy Year Leader (Sixth Form) at a successful local secondary school. The role is a secretarial role including the pastoral care of 300 students in year group. I am the first point of contact for student/parent enquiries.
Why did you decide to take the course at Souters?
I have been with the school for 10 years and it’s time for a new direction as I no longer need the school holidays.
What did you find enjoyable about the course?
I enjoyed the course thoroughly. The class size was perfect, everyone was friendly and the initial nerves soon disappeared. Although we were all at different stages in our lives, it was great to be with others with the same goal. During class exercises, it was good to hear the experience of others.
How do you feel that the course has benefited you?
The course has given me confidence to know that I can be a successful PA/Secretary outside of an educational environment. Despite 30 years secretarial experience, I knew that in order to put myself back out there in the job market, I would need to update/refresh my skills and experience. After day one, I realised I was still writing letters in the ‘old fashioned’ way filling in gaps with unnecessary words. I’m now able to write letters confidently using the 4 point plan and modern speak. Receiving Distinction was the icing on the cake.
Following your course, did find that your on the job skills had improved?
I thought that I knew Excel/Word because I work with it daily. However, I learnt far more doing this course than I have at my workplace. I have been able to pass on what I’ve learnt to my immediate colleagues.
In particular, how has the course benefited your long-term career?
This course will benefit my long-term career because it will show future employers that I have the necessary knowledge/skills they are looking for in an employee. It will show that I am pro-active and keen to continue with my continued professional development. I hope having this qualification on my CV will make me stand out from the competition.
What do you advise to anyone who is considering taking the course?
Just sign up! The sooner you can start, the sooner you will be qualified. The course instructor Joan is lovely and delivers the course in a friendly, professional way. She has a lot of experience and you will learn a lot (even if you think you know it already)! The team are very supportive. I had to extend my deadline due to ill-health and was supported by both Darryl, Joan and Aili.
What are your future aspirations in your career?
My future aspirations in my career are to progress from PA to Executive PA. I would love one day to be able to train others.
Would you consider taking another course to further your career and skill set? Would you consider taking another course to further your career and skill set?
Yes, most definitely. I really enjoyed the learning – knowledge is a powerful thing. Depending on the company I end up working for, I would certainly look at what other courses Souters run to enhance my skills.