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Mentoring in the era of AI: IMA Spain new adventure

12 Jan 2024 09:00 | Christina Kragh (Administrator)

AI is here to stay. Undoubtedly. Some think this is a profession to fade away in a few years, others think that AI will be a sole companion within the Admin Professionals journey.

Written by Isabel Garcia, IMA Spain

Whereas some think this is a profession to fade away in a few years now as AI will impose and will make evident the redundancy of Admin support, others think that AI will be a sole companion within the Admin Professionals journey - being a support to be more time-efficient, to run tasks with more accuracy, to help with proposals of a wide range of templates, texts, or even ideas to start drafting a presentation.

Yes, all that seems to be true, but still, no one has yet dared to say that AI is going to emulate our soft skills and individual capabilities arisen from a combination of our knowledge, our naturally born skills, and our experience. That “thing” that makes us all unique even if sharing the profession of Management Support Professionals.

AI will indeed help and be a great colleague to work with, however, the added value comes from us, the Assistants, and that lays on how good we are and will be managing and putting into practice our soft skills and that uniqueness based on our individual capabilities.

IMA Spain AX (where AX stands for Assistants Xperience, inspired by the so well-known term UX, User Xperience).

IMA Spain AX is in fact a mentoring program that will be run internally with our own resources, as well as led by one of our IMA Spain members, Elena Miralles, who counts with a long experience being an Executive Assistant within the Pharm Industry, Office Manager and in charge of the onboarding of new staff members with regards to the organization, administration and functioning within the company teams. Within her role, Elena is frequently appointed as “buddy” for new joiners, especially those who have less experience within the Management Assistant profession and represents a great support for them.

When we proposed the project to Elena, she immediately embraced the idea, however, we let the idea settle for a while to be sure this is something doable on our own.

Fortunately, the time arrived to start shaping what we understood should be done within this program, and the first thing we did was to identify what sort of “users” we would have and what could be the different necessities they could have.

After a thorough brainstorming session, we came down to the conclusion that we needed to create this Mentoring Program divided into 3 main streams:

Stream 1: Self-Assessment

This is a 4-month program meant to evaluate where the mentee stands with regards to his/her/their package of soft kill using a professional tool, then define a route for the mentee to improve any skill and at the end of the 4 months, a new self-assessment will be done to evaluate the progress.

Stream 2: “I’m your buddy!”

This stream aims at naming a "buddy" within the organization to accompany the mentee during a longer time to help and support either a professional change, seeking for a promotion within their company, looking for a new position, or even to support the early stages of an Assistant within the professional path.

Stream 3: Collective mentoring

The IMA Spain AX team will conduct workshops during our in-person conventions + 1 more online. These workshops will be focusing on soft skills and will be linked to the topics discussed during the conventions and one more topic chosen with a comprehensive criterion to ensure a sound and beneficial session for all the participants.

The program kicks off officially in January 2024 where we will introduce it to the whole IMA Spain members, although we already had a first collective mentoring session during the 1st Assistants Convention in Pamplona on 25th November, where in groups, we worked on identifying the soft skills needed to overcome last minute issues that may appear at the celebration of an event or even, during its organization. This was a very effective and productive session where we could already note not only the teams’ opinions and findings, but also helped us identify different types of behaviors within the workshop teams.

The IMA Spain AX program aims at reinforcing the mentees and mentor’s skills, as we consider that this will be a shared learning experience for both. Furthermore, we consider that being part of IMA, in general, is a fantastic opportunity to receive trainings or the chance to participate in events organized by the National Groups or IMA Global, but also, it offers a unique chance to use the platforms and resources that the Association provides to contribute with our own experiences and like that, capitalize all the knowledge that we already have within our national groups. IMA Members need to start looking at IMA not only as the place to learn but also as the place to practice, a sort of “sandbox” to test different topics, disciplines, or capabilities to ensure we can deliver a high standard and high-quality service to the Management Teams. We believe that this IMA Spain AX could be a first step in the right direction to R-evolution.

The IMA Spain AX will be linked or will be the basis for most of our activities, namely, Social Media inputs, trainings to be organized, next Cross-Border events, and so on. This is a live program that will evolve while we evolve with it.

To hear more, please reach out to Elena Miralles.

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