The first time I came across someone who had completed a Pitman Training Executive PA course was in the early 1990’s when I was working as a business consultant for a huge American computer company in Milton Keynes.
Even though I was an outsider and home-based, Pat was clearly focused first on protecting her boss, Head of Communications, Africa and Europe, from the day to day minutiae of running a multi-million dollar business, and secondly on delivering service to people like me who were trying to help the business become even more successful.
I was a bit in awe of her power, to tell you the truth, and she seemed to be an integral part of the senior management team.
Previously, I had only come across secretaries at work and this was the first time I had had an opportunity to observe a real personal assistant.
About 20 years older than me, she had seen most situations at work twice over, so I knew I could learn a lot from her and I decided to take her to lunch at the firm’s rather luxurious canteen.
She was great fun and we really hit it off. She explained that she had started life in the typing pool and had worked her way up. Eventually the firm paid for her to take an Executive PA course which resulted in the award of a coveted Pitman Training diploma. She had studied it in the evenings and weekends and the firm had been really supportive.
That’s why she didn’t mind working all hours and she found the level she was working at very stimulating.
Back then she was using a word-processing package called WordStar on a rather clunky PC. There was no such thing as Microsoft Outlook, so when she was running multiple diaries for the boss and his team, they were literally paper-based!
Pat knew I could really add value to her boss’ success, so she started to run my dairy too, at least in terms of how I interacted with the team and I was copied in on memos automatically (this was before email).
She also organised for her boss and his whole team to sign birthday cards to me and my kids and flowers to my wife. It was extraordinary!
Sadly those days are gone and technology has taken a lot of the mundane work away from us. I guess Pat has retired by now, too.
But thinking about her made me wonder what I could do for my own daughter, in terms of training.
She has a journalism degree but to be frank, is not making any headway in getting her career started.
So I googled Executive PA course and up popped Pitman Training. They’re still going!
I visited the site of one of their franchises, www.holborntraining.co.uk and read all about their diploma level Executive PA course. It sounds really good, really thorough.
So I’ve made an appointment for my daughter to visit them in London’s Notting Hill. She could just as easily gone to their main centre in Holborn but she’s young so she wanted to go where it’s cool and trendy.
With that kind of attitude, I don’t know if she’ll ever be as tip top as dear old Pat, but I can’t wait to hear what she finds out in her meeting with them.
I just hope she’ll do something that will get her into a career!
To find out more about the Pitman Training Executive PA course, visit http://www.holborntraining.co.uk/courses/executive-pa-courses/ or call Pitman Training at:
London Notting Hill – 020 7792 5214
London – Holborn – 020 7025 4700
Central Manchester – 0161 923 6814