Category: Star of the Future
Five Words to describe Emily Eaton
Hardworking, Sociable, Caring, Organised, Ambitious
Please tell us the key demands of your role?
Some of the key demands involve;
Managing the two founders of the business – CEO (Anabel Fielding) and Group Creative Director (Caroline Villamizar Duque)
Both Anabel & Caroline are successful driven women in their late 40’s with significant professional and personal requirements, I have to balance to the time spent on each of them and making sure they are both organised, prepared and on time.
Diary & Office Management
This needs to be seamless due to the high volumes of internal and external meetings with numerous clients and contacts coming to the office as well as meetings being held out of the office, many of which also require international travel. It is vital that everything runs smoothly and the Directors are fully prepped as well as have time in between.
I am required to ‘stand in for’ either one of them in some meetings
Quintessentially has international offices in over 60 cities plus a client portfolio that spans continents, both Directors travel numerous times a month. Each involves everything from booking / re-scheduling flights, to hotels, transfers, scheduling meetings, engaging with clients and ensuring that they arrive to all appointments full prepared. I also am available to help book all social activity and make sure that they are also full appraised and involved in day to day operations back at HQ.
With over 50 people on my floor, I am the main contact for the business in terms of ensuring everything runs smoothly; from administration to fixing technical problems, from ensuring new staff and high volume of freelancers are all set up and welcomed, to making sure everyone is happy and continues to have fun along the way (Friday PM bar!) and of course planning celebration occasions.
Onsite Event Work
I am encouraged to travel abroad during the summer months particularly to assist on our demanding schedule of events. This bit I love however it can be very challenging to continue manage both Directors and making sure that I am also delivering with my responsibilities on site. I am mostly always given positions that are client and guest facing too, like being a dedicated assistant to brides and grooms.
The two Directors are very social and also run their own homes. My duties are often around helping them to save time – buying presents, babysitting tradesmen, supplier research and/or planning and negotiation etc. They both seem very comfortable to share personal information and I feel that I am very trusted by them and in turn I am very discreet about.
Why do you believe that you should be shortlisted or, give us an example of when you have demonstrated the abilities attributed to your category?
In July 2014, at the age of 21, I started working for Quintessentially as an intern after being ‘spotted’ by the company when they produced Omega House at the London Olympics. After 3 months, I was offered a full-time position as Personal Assistant to Anabel and then also to Caroline. Being my first job, I gave it my all as was thrilled to get the opportunity to work at a company that is so well reputed. I am generally very conscientious – at least my Dad has always said so! - and after the first year, I was promoted to Executive Assistant, where I strive to look after both Directors and represent them at work in whatever role I am required.
I have ambition to grow with the company and to experience a lot of new things which currently the role provides for me in large measures. There is a never a day that is the same and I have to keep on my toes in order to prioritise and maintain a balance of the workload. It also means that I have to work long hours and sometimes over the weekend, particularly if one or both of them are working abroad.
I have also enjoyed being a part of the initiatives that they are involved in from the charity events such as The Barbican Ball or Good Chance and as Anabel is on the fundraising committee of the Women's Equality Party, she led the execution a number of fundraising activities. I have assisted on all of these as well as the monthly committee meetings. I liaised with venues, all manner of people, invitations, guest list and was also there on the night to help manage the event. Much of this was all new to me but it was important to me to take on the challenge and for such an important cause.
It has been very enlightening to see how Anabel & Caroline’s careers have developed and therefore to see what the future can bring for women. I am still relatively young but it is important to see what women can do and achieve and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this progress and the development that it is bringing out in me. I believe much more in my skills and talents and try to think of what I can do and can try to do rather than what I can’t or don’t know (yet) what to do.
Not only do I think I have a very trusted and respectful professional relationship at work but through this, I believe that we have also developed a great friendship too.
If you had one superpower for your role as a PA, what would it be?
Ability to Teleport – both Directors work in separate offices now in the building, this would give me the ability to go between them in seconds and beam into wherever they were in the world in the same time zone at all times.