IMA Going Global: Meet Allison, a Frankfurt Conference delegate from Trinidad & Tobago!
Please introduce yourself and give a short overview of your professional career.
My name is Allison Margaret Lewis and I am a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in England. I am the holder of a MSc in Marketing with Distinction from the Heriot Watt School of Business – Edinburgh Business School, a degree in Business Administration with Double Majors in Human Resource Management & Marketing from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and a Diploma in Digital Marketing from Oxford College in Marketing – England.
My industry experience includes over 14 years in Office Management, Human Resource Management & Marketing having worked both in private and public sectors. I am also a part-time lecturer at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad & Tobago.
How did you hear about the IMA conference in Frankfurt and what persuaded you to travel all the way from Trinidad & Tobago?
I met Angela Parker at the Executive Live Training/Conference in Washington DC in November 2017. We were roommates. During this time Angela spoke about her involvement with IMA in a passionate way and extended an invitation to attend the conference one day.
I was persuaded to travel all the way from Trinidad & Tobago because the WASummit is also being held this week in Frankfurt and I had a deep desire to experience this global meeting. Eth Lloyd- Chairman, Advisory Council of the World Administrators Summit extended an invitation.
What are your expectations from the event, is there any particular workshop or keynote speech you are really looking forward to and if yes, why?
My expectation is to fully understand the theme: “ The Digital Age” and the impact that technology will have on my role as an Executive Assistant. I am also interested in “How companies can benefit from Data Analytics”, the workshop which will be given by Andrea Martin.
This information will allow me firstly to enhance my skill sets and embrace the changes that the digital age will bring, thus allowing me to add value to any Executive. In terms of data analytics at present I am employed in the telecommunication sector in the Strategic Management & Analytics Department – learning about the benefits of analytics will allow me to share information with my team when I return to Trinidad & Tobago.
Are you a member of a similar association for Management Assistants back home?
I am a member but I have not been actively involved in the association for the past years because of academic commitments. The National Association of Administrative Professionals of Trinidad & Tobago (NAAP) is a vibrant unit in Trinidad & Tobago.
Do you receive sponsoring from your employer for professional networking activities?
For this conference, I did not receive sponsorship from my employers. Nevertheless, I decided to pursue my dream of coming to Frankfurt.
What do you consider the major challenges that Management Assistants will be facing in their profession in the coming years
• Expansion of the Executive Assistant Role: The Executive Assistant will need to see him/herself as a Strategic Business Partner as Executives are seeking individuals who are all-rounded and have acquired wide knowledge in both business and the strategic planning realm.
• Embrace a Global Network: Virtual Assistants will grow exponentially; As such, the Executive Assistant will be required to embrace diversity and different cultures. Also the ability to manage projects and be a strong team player will be key.
• Adequate Compensation: There is a need to re-negotiate salaries and benefits for the Executive Assistant as a result of the changing roles.
Technology will be the major driving force and Executive Assistants must embrace lifelong learning in order to add value and survive. We must be adaptable and not be intimidated by change.
Do you see a benefit to have Global Partners such as Brussels Airlines and Thalys to facilitate the transportation of the delegate at preferential fares?
Yes. By extending preferential rates to the delegates, Brussels Airlines will differentiate themselves in the market place and establish a global presence. This strategy will augur well; As in the future they can consider targeting various regions thus increasing their market share. Since this is a conference that attracted an international audience, consideration can be given to the Caribbean and South American markets.
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