"I approached Oxford Media & Business School to recruit for an assistant in the Chairman/CEO's office at Lloyd's, the insurance market, in London. The reason for doing so was that we had previously employed a graduate of the Executive PA Diploma course, by chance, and she proved to be a very resourceful, skilled, intelligent girl with whom everyone enjoyed working at Lloyd's.
I rang Andrea Freeman, the Principal at the College, and explained that we were again searching for that perfectly trained person to work with me, the Chairman's PA, and Lesley, the CEO's PA, as our Assistant. Andrea posted the job description on the notice board at the College and specifically approached certain students she considered to be most suitable for the role, to encourage them to apply for the job. Very shortly after my initial approach, I received emails and CVs from some of the students. One student we were very impressed with in our first interview with her. When she came in for her second interview, we offered her the job as Assistant in the Chairman/CEO's office which, I am delighted to say, she accepted.
Since joining us some 3 months ago, we have discovered she has been extremely well trained by the College - her IT skills, telephone manner, commonsense and general enthusiasm and willingness to put her hand to any task, whether it be a grand project or a making a cup of tea, are brilliant. The School has given her the opportunity to work at a very senior level within a well-known and very established City environment and we hope that we shall give her further insights as to how an office runs, to add to her already considerable skills. We are very pleased to have employed her and I would recommend the College to any employer looking for highly trained, intelligent, competent employee."
Barbara Addison - Personal Assistant to Lord Levene - Chairman, Lloyd's
Dear Mrs Freeman,
I am just writing to let you know that Tiffany, one of your PA Graduates, has accepted the role with me as PA.
Although Tiffany has no financial services experience she won this against tough competition from two strong candidates already filling a similar role for financial adviser firms.
Of course it was Tiffany's own personality and talent shining through that made her the natural choice for me but OMBS must also have some credit.
I wanted then to congratulate you on the excellent job you are clearly doing for those students who want to develop a career as a PA. Because of her relative inexperience I am not sure that Tiffany would have been short listed without the benefit of her attending your course and that would have been my loss!
The factors for me that tipped the scale in her favour were:-
- her time spent with you clearly demonstrated a willingness and commitment on her part to invest in her own personal development, something I shall encourage her to continue
- it was also clear that you had provided her with a solid and realistic grounding in the use of technology particularly office applications; an appreciation of the workplace and what would be required of her and the role of the web and social media in business today.
This I am sure gave her the confidence to present herself exceptionally well at the interview and will certainly save me at least 12 months training in time let alone the cost that would have been. This means that Tiffany will become a productive member of my team very quickly. I am sure she will also enjoy her job more as she can now be given those more challenging but interesting and rewarding tasks sooner.
I was not aware of OMBS before getting Tiffany's CV but if she is typical of your graduates I would urge any employer receiving a CV from an OMBS PA's graduate to put possible concerns about experience aside and give them an interview. I think employers will be pleasantly surprised.
Greg Thompson - Managing Director, Greg Thompson Financial Services Ltd
“I am writing this despite the protests of Sarah who I hired as my PA from your college last year.
I am so totally delighted with the skills Sarah has and the support she is able to give me as result, that I think others should know about it.
I think the key is that Sarah is a bright person who in truth could do pretty much anything she wanted, but she has chosen to be a PA – and luckily enough she is mine. She takes pride in being a PA and she is really good at it. It is a big "ask" since a good day for a CEO is a job well done for his PA and not everyone would want to live like that.
So, the point of writing is to acknowledge the role Oxford Media & Business School played - but also to suggest that Sarah comes back one day soon and talks to your present students about "The life of a PA". I hope we would be putting something back by doing that. Sarah would do it well and perhaps it would be useful for the audience.
I will certainly be hiring from your college again.”
An extract from a letter written by the CEO of a company in London