Stop and think about your office before you continue reading this article. Who keeps everything functioning smoothly? Who keeps the office and your leadership team organized? We are sure you are thinking of your company’s administrative assistants. Administrative assistants deserve much recognition, as they are the heart of the office and help orchestrate business travel like no other. Administrative Professionals’ Day is April 25th, and as we celebrate admins on this special day, Dinova believes administrative assistants deserve to be appreciated every day.
In honor of Administrative Professionals’ Day, Dinova wanted to interview one of the best Administrative Assistant in the business. Debora Bankhead, Senior Administrative Specialist at Siemens, sat down with us to give us some insight (and some tips for fellow admins!) on her role at the company.
Q. How long have you been working as an administrative professional?
A. I’ve been in this industry for over 30 years!
Q. What advice would you have for administrative professionals in the challenges that they face every day?
A. Do the best job you can do with your resources and keep records of your development. Be pleasant and professional, yet sociable when appropriate. The better you get along with your executives and team members, the better you will enjoy your job and environment. Re-prioritize as necessary and take good notes. You are not the only one experiencing system problems or lengthy help desk calls, as it happens to everyone. Have a peer or group of team members to bounce ideas off of and learn “Best Practices”.
Q. Do you have any secret tips for ordering food?
A. Know of special food needs of guests, have a few ”go-to caterers” (which you can add to your favorites in your Dinova app!), change up the cuisine every now and then, and know what your guests are enjoying from your catering order. A great tip I have is to take note of what was eaten and left behind after a large order is placed, so you’ll know how to improve the order for the next time. It’s also essential to keep a small stash of bottled water for executives’ visitors.
Q. Explain a day in your life as an executive assistant. What does your average day look like?
A. Currently, I support the purchase order request and back-end process as well as budget tracking for multiple vendors with daily updates. I manage travel and expense processes for our executives, which is an extremely important aspect to the job! I support a team of up to 80 across the country, which means that at any time I may receive requests to welcome guests and interviewees, order peripherals, provide on-boarding and off-boarding item support, place catering orders, assist new employees or answer any possible question on the above or other systems and process. There really isn’t a typical day in the workplace, which keeps things exciting!
From hotels to flights to dining, administrative assistants touch every part of business travel. Today is about honoring their silent contributions, and with that, we raise a business travel glass to those in honor of Administrative Professionals’ Day.
Special thanks to Deb Bankhead for letting us interview her!