Administrative Assistant 

(Female, Age 23) from Scotts Valley, CA

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 23 who works as a Administrative Assistant in Scotts Valley, CA. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Administrative Assistant
Salary $32,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Scotts Valley, CA
Years Experience 2 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Employer provides professional development for new teachers and new administrators/principals. They are affiliated with the UC system (UCSC) but are mainly funded by grants and contracts. There are about 100-120 employees, with most being located in Santa Cruz. However, there are many in other areas of the country. We currently host trainings all over the US and other countries such as Egypt, Guam, Scotland, etc.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Administrative Assts. are responsible for preparing the trainings to be shipped out to training sites. This includes making copies of packets, packing boxes with necessary materials and shipping it out. Other duties include data entry (tracking registration, collecting information for our internal database), Purchase Order for large and small events and/or ordering supplies. Back-up reception/front desk when necessary. Serving on hiring committees when appropriate.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
Medical, Dental, Vision

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Undercompensated at times, especially as my responsibilites increase.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with other support staff on a daily basis, as well as academics occasionally. I prefer to work independently, but realize that it is not an option at my position. I need the expertise and occasional instruction from supervisors to guide me in my daily activities.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
What is this space for?

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 3
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 7
Supervisors: 6
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 4
The Actual Work: 5

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am I am usually at home getting ready to go to work. I live a few miles away and I don’t drive so I usually rely on my boyfriend to take me (who works in the same area as I do) or I take the bus. Taking the bus means I have to get up a bit earlier than usual.
8am to 9am I start work everyday at 8 am, though it may vary a bit (give or take 10 minutes). I start my day by listening to any phone messages and checking email. This week, we are in the process of moving. Our company is expanding to another floor in the building which is where I am being moved. Right now, everything is packed and I can’t do much work since I don’t have the files I need. I can only check my email and respond to the requests that I can fill without using my files or the copy machine.
9am to 10am Yesterday, at this time, I was unpacking boxes and organizing our new production room. On an average day, I would already be starting production of packets and other materials for our trainings. Most trainings will take an hour or two to put together, if they are simple. We keep masters of all of our trainings which we use to copy for upcoming trainings. It makes things a bit easier.
10am to 11am I usually take a break sometime between 10-11. I like to eat a small snack, usually with protein to keep my energy going throughout the day. Lately, I have been eating string cheese. I don’t have much time for anything else. On most days, this is the time period when my “second boss” gets into work, and any looming questions can be answered at this time. It is sometimes difficult to begin work when I have 2 bosses who come in 1-2 hours later than I do.
11am to 12pm I try to get into the production room early because I may need to use the copier all day long. This isn’t a very popular time because many people are not in the office at the time. I like to get my copies done before everyone is in the office, if I can.
12pm to 1pm I try to get as much done as I can before I take lunch because when I get back from lunch, the production room is often very full with large copy jobs. I sometimes have to take my lunch later to finish my copy job. If I can’t wait longer, I might ask someone to listen for the machine to make sure it does not jam or have any errors.
1pm to 2pm This is my lunch hour. Sometimes I might take it a bit earlier or later, depending on my workload. When things are super busy, I tend to take only a half lunch or even less. I usually always bring my lunch and sit on the patio-deck with others. We try not to chat about work. If I have errands to run or if I want to eat out, I usually eat at my desk or bring it back to my desk.
2pm to 3pm This is usually panic time when everyone is trying to get things done before the Fedex deadline. We sometimes have to assess who has more of an urgent job. If their job needs to get done that day, they have priority. We sometimes have to have a “take a number system” so that we know when we can use the copier.
3pm to 4pm We have a Fedex pickup time between 3-4 when packages are picked up, and if we don’t make it someone will have to take it to Fedex themselves. We try to avoid that.
4pm to 5pm I end my work day at 5. Since Fedex is usually gone by this time, I use this period before I leave to catch up on other work at my desk (data entry, emails, etc.). I sometimes start staging boxes for the next day, but I only do small things and not large copy jobs.
5pm to 6pm My boyfriend and I live together so he almost always picks me up from work. If we aren’t feeling too tired we will take a walk or run for a half hour to hour around the neighborhood. If we’re too exhausted, we will just watch a bit of TV (local and national news). Sometimes, we will eat out at our favorite restaurants.
6pm to 7pm I like to start dinner between 6-7 so that we can make dinner and eat before Jeopardy is on. I tend to make simple things like tacos or baked chicken. After dinner, my boyfriend and I wash the dishes and watch Jeopardy.
7pm to 8pm I like to take a shower at night usually between 7-8 so that my hair can airdry a bit before I go to bed. I usually take my shower at 7:30 when Jeopardy is over. Then I relax a bit.
8pm to 9pm If I am having a stressful week or day, I will take a bath for about an hour and read a magazine. It helps to calm my nerves a bit and forget about work for a while. If not, I will watch a movie or TV or read a magazine or book.
9pm to 10pm I sometimes watch TV or read in the living room while my boyfriend watches TV. Sometimes I’ll get a snack (usually something sweet like chocolate or ice cream). Other times, I will watch TV or read in my bedroom so that my boyfriend and I have time alone.
10pm to 11pm I like to get ready for bed (brush teeth, blowdry hair, wash face) before I get into bed. I will watch an hour of Will and Grace before bed as my winding down routine.
11pm to 12am I usually am in bed at 11. If I am not very tired, I will watch Sex and the City for a half hour then go to bed. I have a bit of insomnia so it sometimes takes me longer to go to bed, but lately (with the move and the large projects), I fall asleep fast.

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Worked as a temp for a few months

What was the application process?
Electronic application

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
My interview took place where I currently worked with a group of people I already worked with. I was not very nervous because everyone told me I already had the job. However, after I was given the job, I was told that I did not interview well and that the work I had done was the reason I was hired.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?, How do you organize yourself (ie, lists, calendar)?, How have you applied certain work skills to a job or task?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
I did not feel prepared because I did not have much work experience before I got a full-time job. I worked as a student temp in college but there were minimal hours.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
No. I had very little work background, but I am a fast learner. I was able to learn my position as well as others in the time I have been here. Many people now come to me for advice about particular tasks.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
I feel as though some of the things I learned in college (writing skills, computer application knowledge) helped me have a basic background.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
I would suggest that they have a strong background in an office environment, specifically typing, data entry, working with office machinery, and basic computer applications (Word, Outlook, Excel, Powerpoint). They should have try to learn software applications that might be beneficial, including applications in design and databases. It is important that they can prove that they are very independent because certain positions require that

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
They should have strong organizational skills. In my position, I often am juggling several projects which may all have to be done at the same time. It helps to be organized and be a great planner (lists, calendars, etc.) It’s easy for small things to fall through the cracks which makes organization key. It does help to have social skills since I am often working with several different people on different projects. Many of them do not work in the office and some of them work across the country so it helps to know how to reach people and get everyone on the same page.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Experience in an office setting is really all that is needed. If you don’t have experience, a college degree is helpful.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Start learning basic computer skills if you don’t have them already. Have a friend teach you or check out books from the library. Or volunteer in an office. I have served on a committee to hire a person with the same title as mine, and the things we noticed the most were skills that can be applied to several tasks. I look for specific skills listed in resumes such as “knowledge of operating office machinery” or “excellent powerpoint skills” rather than generic things such as “I am punctual and dependable.”

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
I am grateful for the experience and the skills I have learned, but it is not part of my overall plan. I would like to one day be working with animals or making a difference in the world. I want to feel challenged by my work and feel that my work is meaningful.

What are your current career goals?
I plan to start volunteering at an aquarium so that I can get hands-on experience with animals and really see if it is right for me. I would like to work in an aquarium or zoo, directly with the animals. I would like to be an animal behaviorist or work in animal husbandry.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I think it helps to gain skills through an entry-level job, even if it is not part of the overall plan. Things that I have learned can most likely be applied to any job. My skill level is much higher, including my social skills. I used to be more reticent, but I can now talk to anyone when I need to. It will help me if I decide to work in a zoo and have to speak with the public about animals.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Admin Asst 2 years 7.12/hr Clerical/administrative work such as filing, data entry, copying, answering phones; banner creating and posting; flyer distribution.
Prior Job 2

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.8

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
2.9 UCSC Marine Biology
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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