What is your full name?
Carol-Ann Theresa Martins
What is your professional job title?
Executive Personal Assistant & Office Manager
What does a typical day in your life look like?
I generally get up at 4h00 to get ready for work. I leave home around 4h30 so I’m at the office by 5h00. Once I get to the office I switch on the TV’s, unlock the managers offices and collect the coffee cups. I then set-up my desk and download my emails.
I then make the filter coffee for when the managers get to work anytime from 6h30. If there are new employees starting, I ensure that I have their desk set-up with a welcome pack (which comprises of a branded pen, notebook, USB with relevant documents loaded, lanyard and a welcome balloon).
I am a very organised person by nature, so planning my day is important. I also like to keep a diary and make notes of items that need to be actioned. There isn’t really a typical day. My workload varies from day to day, it’s very exciting and stimulating. I’m always running around and assisting with meeting rooms, stationery, office maintenance and so forth.
I’m fortunate that when I get given a major task to do, I’m left to figure it out, come up with a concept and then implement it. One of my managers always says, “we’ll ask for forgiveness afterwards”.
What does it mean to you to have achieved your Professional designation as an Office Professional?
It is an amazing achievement. I never thought that at the age of 55 I’d be studying and improving my Office Professional skills. After completing my Business Administration and Management course through Damelin in 2000 my certificate came with a membership to OPSA. I’ve always wanted to do the course but never had the funds available till now when my current employer paid for my course.
Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …
The ideal way to start my day is to open my house and let the new day in. Put the kettle on and have a cup of coffee. Potter around in the garden and on my patio with my plants. Its soul cleansing and satisfying. Be thankful for each day you are given.
What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?
My diary is key to my day as I interact with close to 1000 employees. Office 365 is also key to my day whether I’m writing an email, creating a report or putting a presentation together. I also work on SAP (Coupa – financial package), Persona and SMAX.
What are your favourite apps and why?
I’m going to be very honest, I’m not really an app person. When I’m looking for a specific item, I will make use of Google as they show local and international options. On the odd occasion I will use Google Maps or Waze to find the quickest route home when I’ve left the office a little late. I use WhatsApp for communicating with colleagues, friends and family. Other than that, I try and stay away from social media or anything tech related. I also don’t have any social media profile such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.
How do you deal with conflicts or problems in the office?
I’m generally a positive person so I would listen to the problem and see if I have the answers. If not, I will then see what I can do to resolve the matter as amicably as possible. In my work and personal life, I prefer to stay away from conflicting situations. Life is too short for negativity.
Do you have some advice for aspiring Office Professionals?
Be passionate about what you do. Being an Office Professional is as important as being a Manager. You are the glue that holds the office together. Go the extra mile and make a difference. Never stop learning and improving your working environment.
Finish this sentence: My favourite thing about being an Office Professional is …
My favourite thing about being an Office Professional is being able to assist and help staff. Seeing the appreciation on their faces and hearing them talk about the experience. I get asked a lot, “please share with me what you are taking. You the same person in the morning as in the afternoon. Full of energy and always smiling.”