Meet Kate Fernandes who is now in an Executive Assistant Job at UCL following her Secretary PA Diploma

Meet Kate Fernandes who is now in an Executive Assistant Job at UCL following her Secretary PA Diploma

Executive PA in London

Kate undertook a course with SOUTERS back in 2010 which enormously helped her to get a job at University College London, where she still is. She has just learned that she has been successful in her interview for more senior role at UCL. She is now working as an Executive Assistant at UCL. So she decided to tell fellow Souters students about her career path and the massive impact on her job option due to the Souters Secretary PA Diploma.

Prior to your Souters Course what was your employment situation?

Prior completing the Secretary PA Diploma with Souters I was unemployed and looking for a PA job. I worked previously as a swimming teacher and wanted to go back to work as a secretary/PA, something I did for 10 years back in my home country (Czech Republic).

Were you able to get a job following your course?

Within three months of completing my course with Souters, I was shortlisted for a PA/Administrator role at University College London (UCL) and was invited to an interview after which I was offered the job.

Career Study of an Executive PA in London

What is your current job?

I am still with the same department since I joined UCL but my role evolved and I am now the Executive Assistant to Institute Director.

Why did you decide to take a Souters course?

I knew I want to go back to work in a higher education sector and I had plenty of experience, however, the experience was in a different country. I wanted to have a proof for my potential employers that I can do the job in the UK too. Undertaking the Secretary PA Diploma with Souters provided me with that proof.

What courses did you complete at Souters?

I completed the Secretary PA Diploma at Souters. When I searched for PA courses Souters came up at the top of the search results. Their website gave me a good overview of the various courses on offer and I liked its central London position.

What did you enjoy about the courses?

The course took one month to complete with daily attendance (Monday – Friday). It was nice to be back in the classroom. The content was well balanced and we covered all the important tasks that PA undertakes. We also had touch typing and MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

In what ways do you feel that the course has benefited your career, especially now it is a few years since you took the course?

A while after I started my job, I asked my manager why they gave me the job and he said that it was the determination that I showed to get this job. Despite having an experience in working in higher education, although abroad, I took a UK qualification to prove my skills and he knew that I will always deliver.

What are your future aspirations in your career?

I enjoy working as an Executive Assistant, the job is really varied and I do a bit of everything. I have developed an appetite for project management and would like to develop my project management skills further. I was just offered another job just now that has large project management element in it and I am looking forward to the change.

What do you advise to anyone who is considering taking the course?

Education is always a good investment. Souters courses are very practical and the lecturers and staff are great. Pick what interests you and go for it.