What Does it Take to Win a PA of the Year Award?

Written by: Ethan Cumming
Published on: 3 Aug 2021

The tenth anniversary of the PA of the Year Awards is fast approaching – here is what it takes to beat the competition and be crowned a winner, according to last year’s champions.

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We recently opened nominations for our PA of the Year Awards, an annual celebration of excellence and the exceptional in the business support profession. The 2021 Awards are particularly special because this year marks the tenth anniversary of our iconic event.

“The pandemic created such immensely difficult conditions for organisations who had to adapt at speed,” said Sarah EL-Doori, SecsintheCity Marketing Director and long-time PA of the Year Awards judge.

“These efforts deserve recognition, so whatever sector you’re in we want to hear from you.”

So, what does it take to beat the competition and be crowned a winner at the PA of the Year Awards? We asked last year’s champions to find out how to replicate their success.

 

Bethany Burns, PA to Co-Founder of BrewDog – PA of the Year 2020

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SecsintheCity: “What advice would you give to PAs hoping to replicate your success?”

Bethany: “Believe in yourself! Make informed decisions, educated guesses, and take smart risks. You live once… live it well!”

Check out our interview with Bethany to find out what it’s like to be named SecsintheCity’s PA of the Year.

 

Sarah Kingdom, Office Manager and EA at ghd – Office Manager of the Year 2020

Sarah Kingdom winner

SecsintheCity: “What advice would you give to Office Managers hoping to replicate your success?”

Sarah: “My best advice is to stay positive and keep a sense of humour about you. There are times when the job is fun, rewarding and a great journey. There are other times where it is stressful, exhausting, and frustrating. If you’re able to see the positive side to a situation, you will find problem solving that much easier and the role that much more enjoyable. It is also a massive help when dealing with others – they’re more likely to be supportive and helpful if you’re positive and relaxed.”

Read our full Q&A with Sarah to find out more about her journey to the PA of the Year Awards.

 

Gemma Hughes, PA to the Vice Principal of Salford City Academy – Outstanding Achievement Award 2020

Gemma Hughes

SecsintheCity: “What advice would you give to PAs hoping to replicate your success?”

Gemma: “Unfortunately, I’ve had health challenges starting at Salford City Academy – things that I always thought ‘that will never happen to me’ and certainly not 7 months into my role at the Academy. My advice would be ‘you never know what life is going to challenge you with, so just go for it and you will never have any regrets!’”

Check out our full interview with Gemma to find out more about her experience of the PA of the Year Awards.

 

Tanya Jennings, Legal PA at Freshfields – Legal PA of the Year 2020

Tanya Jennings winner

SecsintheCity: “What advice would you give to Legal PAs hoping to replicate your success?”

Tanya: “Listen: it pays dividends in the long run.”

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions: but get the balance right and don’t ask too many or indeed the same questions.”

“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes: it’s a great way of learning. However, be conscious not to keep repeating the same mistakes…”

“Have a sense of humour: life is much more enjoyable when you approach it with a smile!”

Have a read of our Q&A with Tanya to find out more about her role and how she came to be a winner at last year’s PA of the Year Awards.

 

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a winner or if you work with a PA, EA or Office Manager who fits the bill, submit your PA of the Year Awards nomination today.

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