Category: Efficiency & Creating Time
Company: Turner & Townsend
Five Words to describe Katie Foster
Proactive, Approachable, Confident, Consistent, Pragmatic
Please tell us the key demands of your role?
As a PA within a global professional services company, Katie has to embrace and accept that no day is ever the same. That a well-planned schedule can change like the wind. Flight delays, client demands and those pesky last minute issues can impact on the efficient running of any project, and it is Katie’s responsibility to make sure that everything is seamless. She works with a busy Global MD which makes this an ongoing and almost impossible task. Nevertheless, she makes the impossible, possible. Not only does she pull this off with aplomb but she is graceful about it. Nothing is too much trouble.
Katie coordinates meetings and travel plans, gate keeps, firefights and manages client and internal deadlines and priorities. She is proactive and dependable.
Katie puts herself in her manager’s shoes with every decision she makes and does so in the knowledge that she represents the business on his behalf.
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?
Katie looks at all outcomes and possible problems and envisages the whole solution from start to finish. She does this efficiently and creates time in order to meet changing deadlines and priorities. Her attitude is ‘can do’. Katie’s enthusiasm and understanding allows her to contribute to project planning. Processes change as a result of her forward thinking, ranging from presentation design to operational efficiency.
Katie often sets up last minute ‘must have’ meetings across multiple time zones with staff and clients, demonstrating her efficiency and ability to remain calm under pressure. Using tact and open communication skills in her approach, Katie has built a network of relationships both at Turner & Townsend and with our clients, and enhanced cohesiveness within the global business generation team.
Neil Bullen, Managing Director of Global Business Generation at Turner & Townsend said of Katie’s time management and efficiency skills:
What can I say other than “phenomenal”? Simply, I could not achieve what I do without Katie’s ability to steer a clear course through the (potential) complexity and chaos of my diary – all whilst maintaining a Zen like calmness. She is always several steps ahead of others, is firm but fair, and knows when to push hard (and when to back off, or call in favours). Katie has certainly mastered the art of multiple time zones and cultures – but somehow is able to create space for those important last minute essential meetings. I certainly wouldn’t want to play chess against her – she’s clearly a master tactician in the art of diary and time management - but if I did I am sure she would maintain her smile and indefatigable approach to getting the job done right.
Katie is honoured to represent Turner & Townsend at this year’s PA awards. She believes it is a fantastic opportunity for PAs and is thankful for the recognition. She wishes all the nominees the very best and is sure everyone, like her, is grateful for the chance to shine.
The PA world has come a long way in a short time and for PAs to be celebrated and recognised publicly for the work that they do, is an amazing achievement for all.
If you had one superpower for your role as a PA, what would it be?