Welcome to the first installment of Admin of the Month, a new monthly blog series from ASAP that highlights deserving executive assistants and administrative professionals.
We're thrilled to introduce our first Admin of the Month: Sarina Baker.
Sarina is an Executive Assistant at Bellin Health, part of the Bellin Gundersen Health System. Previously, she worked as an Administrative Assistant at a non-profit organization. She earned her Associates Degree as an Administrative Professional at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and is PACE Certified. She enjoys learning and mastering computer software programs.
Sarina currently lives in Titletown, Wisconsin (Green Bay) and has called it home for over 30 years; she was born and raised on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Sarina enjoys cheering for the Green Bay Packers, reliving her childhood glory years at New Kids on the Block concerts, reading, puzzling, cooking, dancing, and most of all, being a boy mom! Fun Fact: Lambeau Field is built on her great uncle’s farm.
Sarina: Back in the mid-90's, I was working in a customer service position, and wanted to learn more about computers and how they work. I had taken WordPerfect and Lotus Notes in high school, but at that time, they were already becoming irrelevant due to the rise in MS Office products.
I took a gap year after high school to contemplate what I wanted to be when I grew up, and that customer service role was pivotal in my decision to enroll in the Administration Professional Program at my local technical college. I received in-depth education in the Microsoft products and other administrative skills. Oh my gosh, I remember when email was this mind-blowing invention for communication!
I've worked as a Receptionist, Accounts Payable Assistant, Administrative Assistant, and finally an Executive Assistant. I've been with my current organization (non-profit healthcare) for nine years, and that role has developed as I've expanded the scope of what I've learned and supported.
I've been with the same executive for those nine years, and as her role expanded, so has mine. I've had the opportunity to raise my hand and grow in new and challenging ways.
I'm pretty new to ASAP's coffee break. While I attend the weekly meetings, I'm not a big contributor because there are so many wonderful people who contribute to the conversation. I know, I'm working on my confidence to share my voice! I've enjoyed listening to how other Administrative Professionals are doing in the world. I've taken shared learnings back to my team. Great resources.
PEOPLE. I love people and connecting with others. I enjoy supporting others and building that relationship with my executive and other leaders.
I have a gift of connecting with each person on an individual level. I enjoy celebrating big and small things in the office and making a positive impact that way. Being a master puzzler, I tend to make the impossible meeting happen on challenging calendars.
My greatest superpower is having a whole lot of knowledge about nothing. I'm a great resource of organizational knowledge.
Dress and Prepare for Success
When I was earning my Associates Degree as an Administrative Professional, more years than I care to count ago, one of our classes included the topic of career preparation. One of the sayings stated in the class, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”
Here is my advice to you, an aspiring EA. While dressing for the role in the literal sense is important, I also feel that includes your education and resourcefulness. The importance of education is a foundation that my mom set in my siblings and me.
Find Resources and Use Them
Know your industry resources. You’re already connected to ASAP, which is a fantastic starting point and full of educational opportunities specific to the Administrative Professional career. There are many podcasts to choose from to gain knowledge from experienced EAs. I find them so inspiring! There are other professional organizations and individuals in the industry offering continuing education. Tap into those and level yourself up!
Keep Learning and Connecting
Technology is constantly changing. Embrace it. Be the subject matter expert. YouTube is your friend! ASAP Circle is full of friends to tap into as well. Find out the opportunities that your organization offers and build relationships with the supporting resources in your organization.
I’m here to encourage you to dress for the EA role you aspire to by grounding yourself in continuous learning; surrounding yourself with tools, education, and resources; and finishing it off with your favorite shoes or shade of lipstick!
Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.