A personal assistant (PA), sometimes called an executive secretary or personal/private secretary, works closely with senior managerial or directorial staff to provide administrative support, usually on a one-to-one basis.
PAs help managers to make the best use of their time by dealing with secretarial and administrative tasks.
PAs need extensive knowledge of the organisation in which they work. They need to know who key personnel are (both external and internal) and understand the organisation’s aims and objectives.
Managers often rely heavily on their PA, trusting that work will be handled efficiently in their absence. Discretion and confidentiality are therefore essential attributes for a successful PA.