Academic journal article Manager

Susan Toet FInstAM (Dip), ACIL

Academic journal article Manager

Susan Toet FInstAM (Dip), ACIL

Article excerpt

After completing a Bilingual Secretarial course in French/ English in 1976 I started work at the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges as PA to the Head of the Language Assistants Department using language (French, Italian, Spanish) and admin skills. However, I left when we moved due to my husband's job, something which has happened on a number of occasions since!

I then became PA to the CEO of a small lighting control company employing under 30 people and, realising I needed additional training, studied for the IAM Diploma at evening classes. This qualification and experience enabled me to obtain a job as Office Manager at Alean for its new Automotive Structures section - starting with fitting out the building, taking on admin staff, doing the accounts, being responsible for health and safety... and my languages helped too.

Our next move was to Italy, where I worked for Ferrari's road car factory in Maranello and was responsible for solving all the importers' spare parts problems. Although not a university graduate, looking at my IAM and language qualifications, Ferrari put me on its graduate managerial training programme.

Back in the UK, I then worked as Administration Manager for a Primary Care Group/Trust. What started as just the CEO and me with one PC, desk and chair between us, grew within three years to 20 people. Such a rapid increase meant we moved or expanded offices four times and I needed to manage the recruitment of new staff, set up and modify all office systems and procedures, and negotiate and fit out new premises. …

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