Contract PA jobs in investment banks are popular but what exactly do they entail? We caught up with a PA at a leading firm to find out.
How did you get into your current role?
I started as a floating PA and worked in a number of departments – ranging from mergers and acquisitions to global capital markets – supporting senior executives. I am currently on a temp-to-perm contract in the financial sponsors department.
What does your current job entail?
I support four people in total – an executive director, a managing director and two analysts. The MD is currently relocating to the UK from the US, so I am responsible for getting him set up on our systems and organising various logistical aspects of his move. The Executive Director frequently travels to the Middle East, so some of my time is spent organising cars, hotels and flights. E-mail and diary management are also key parts of my role.
What did you make of your time as a float?
I think anyone who is confident, outgoing and is happy getting stuck in would love floating. As things are always changing, you also never get bored. Other advantages are that you get to know how to use the internal systems really well and learn about the business very quickly.
Communication skills are key as you’ll need to speak to people at a variety of different levels.
What skills do you think are important for a good PA?
Communication skills are key as you’ll need to speak to people at a variety of different levels. You also need to be comfortable working as part of a team, while flexibility is often valued – there are times when work demands have been high and I’ve been prepared to stay later to get things done. I think it’s important to remember you are ultimately there to provide a service.
What advice would you give to an aspiring PA?
I would recommend going on courses and updating your skills regularly. For example, there are different versions of Microsoft Office coming out all the time and training courses in the different components can be very beneficial. I’m also going to start learning Spanish to further boost my skill set. Language skills are very useful in multi-national firms.
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