Sonia Polacci is PA to the Owner and Fashion Stylist at a Cashmere company, which is developing new business projects in UK. She has worked across a range of industries which include Travel, Hospitality, and now Public Relations.
How did you arrive at your position?
Before reaching my current position, I worked as a PA in Tourism environment for more than fifteen years, first for a Tour Operator and then for a Travel Agency both with worldwide destinations. Even if this kind of job was a continuous challenge with unexpected events always on the agenda, I wanted to enhance my private PA skills and my knowledge of the UK market, so I applied for this job becoming the Assistant to the Owner and Fashion Stylist at a Cashmere Company which was developing new business projects in UK.
What happens in your typical day?
Each day is really different and, as each Personal Assistant, I have many and various responsibilities included: implementing a daily business and personal schedule system, email correspondence, budget administration, document translation English-Italian-English, report updating, organising national and international travel and visas for personal holidays and business trips, booking hotels and restaurants, creating and maintaining business Facebook and Pinterest pages, looking for locations and models, photographing, editing, uploading an online lookbook, overseeing household duties and domestic stuff dealing with cleaners, gardeners and nanny, booking private appointments, gift buying, personal shopping, running errands and packing/unpacking for business and personal travel.
What are the most important tasks you have to perform?
To improve the business, I travel extensively to London to build clients relations showing and selling them the new items, and becoming a stable reference point both for the shops we are connected with, and the buyers.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your role?
We usually think that the great challenges stay in the big stuff, but sometimes the most insignificant detail could become the biggest problem if you neglect it, that’s why an excellent and constant attention to detail for everything is essential and represents a daily challenge for me, especially when you have to relate to so many and different assignments.
What’s the funniest thing you have ever been asked to do by your boss?
When I worked in Tourism environment I had many funny moments due to the difference of languages, food and habits which created a lot of hilarious misunderstandings. In my current job, one year ago my boss asked me to organise a special surprise dinner for her and her husband on the day of their wedding anniversary. After a couple of days, her husband came to me asking exactly the same thing! It was funny to maintain the secret with both of them putting together all the requests, and I’m sure they will not forget that night!
Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years’ time?
My next challenge is to transfer my skills and experience to a private PA role permanently based in the wonderful London, that is exactly where I see myself professionally and personally as well.
I would love also to support some Assistants’ organisations and Women Associations in a more efficient and active way.
Any advice or assistance you could give to others wishing to work in a similar role?
A positive, enthusiastic and can-do attitude, combined with a calm disposition, sound judgment and discretion are fundamental requirements of an effective PA. Also, you have to constantly improve your skills and knowledge and be ready to face different demands and changes, combined with the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines. And, as I always say, never forget to smile!
We would like to Thank You Sonia for taking the time and participating in our PA of the Month Q&A. We really appreciate it!
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