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What is an Executive Administrative Assistant?

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  • Written By: Cassie L. Damewood
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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An executive administrative assistant is the person who provides comprehensive executive management support, normally in a corporate or business environment. He may work exclusively for one manager or serve a team of executive managers. His job is multifaceted and generally requires exemplary organizational skills.

This position is traditionally perceived as having considerably more duties and responsibilities than that of a secretary or administrative assistant. Although secretarial skills are important to be a successful executive administrative assistant, the job generally entails handling the daily business affairs of the executive as well. Duties of this job may also commonly cross the realm into personal assistance.

The main objective of a competent executive administrative assistant is typically to make the executive’s business life run smoothly and efficiently. This generally requires excellent time management and project prioritization skills. The executive administrative assistant normally has daily access to his boss’ calendar so they can mutually plan meetings, trips and social appointments.

An executive administrative assistant is ordinarily the first contact for the executive’s professional communications. He commonly is the liaison between the executive and lower management. When outside clients or vendors require contact with the executive, this assistant usually screens phone calls, e-mails, unscheduled visitors and arranges appointments amenable to his boss’ wishes.

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Additional duties of an executive administrative assistant frequently include arranging travel and hotel accommodations, preparing reports on financial and corporate activities, and training and managing lower level support personnel. Preparing memos for interdepartmental communications is often required of a person in this position. Regularly reviewing policies and procedures and discussing possible changes in them are generally part of the executive and executive administrative assistant relationship.

Keeping customers and clients happy is typically a high priority for a person with this job. The ability to effectively communicate with all sorts of personalities is tantamount to success. Diplomacy and charm are often required to ease delicate situations that may arise due to scheduling conflicts, miscommunication or basic differences in character.

Excellent computer skills are ordinarily required to be a competent executive administrative assistant. Word processing skills are also highly valued. The assistant is generally called upon by his superior to research competitors, vendors and travel destination amenities and options. Large parts of his corporate communications normally involve e-mail and electronic messaging services.

A college degree is not normally required for this position but a high school diploma or equivalent is generally required. Courses in computer operations, public relations or office management are helpful, as is a background in administrative or executive support.

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