10 Questions and a Selfie: Nokuthula Ngwenya

What is your full name?

Nokuthula Ngwenya

What is your professional job title?

Legal Administrator

What does a typical day in your life look like?

I work as a Legal office administrator; it is a world of deadlines, documents and legal terminology. I take initiative and utilize my skills in word processing, technology, communications and human relations to provide a professional administrative support to my legal team and the Company Secretary. Other tasks of the legal office administrator can include:

  • Apply scheduling, task coordination and organizational skills to facilitate the completion of tasks and to meet deadlines in the legal environment.
  • Establish and maintain data management systems to ensure organized electronic and paper records for the legal environment.
  • Coordinate the organizing, processing and responding to electronic and paper communications to facilitate the flow of information in the legal environment.
  • Produce accurate financial records for the legal environment within a specified time frame by compiling information and using appropriate software.
  • Produce legal correspondence by a specified deadline.
  • Use effective interpersonal skills in the legal environment to assist the completion of individual and team tasks and to ensure effective customer service.
  • Demonstrate administrative skills to enhance the effective operation of the workplace.

What does it mean to you to have achieved your Professional designation as an Office Professional?

I am really excited about obtaining my Professional Designation. Administrators; support staff and personal assistant etc. were overlooked in the past where we were seen as seen just as support staff.  We are skilled bunch and our careers are far more than just diary management and answering calls, we are the glue that holds everything together in offices.  Having a professional body that understand what it means to be an office professional, supports our visions and promotes our growth in a professional space is a good initiative.  This will make our peers in other environments know that we really care our careers.  I have recommended this professional affiliation to my peers.  I have learned a lot and now belong to a network of like-minded people. 

Finish this sentence: The ideal way to start my day is …

Planning.  Planning ones day is very important, knowing what is going, what needs to be done and when it should be done it is important.  Taking charge of your time works wonders.

What are the most important tools, programs and systems you use for your work?

Lucky enough I work for a progressive organisation that sources the latest technology trends. So I am always kept abreast of new ways to simplify our busy lives and environment.  My favourite is the recently acquired minute taking Olympus pen, recorder and dictating software.  Life has become easier in that world and the turnaround time for distributing minutes has improved.  BoardPack system, gone are the day of wasting paper and printing loads of board packs, now at a touch of button via smartphone, tablets, PC the pack is available live, voting on certain decisions is also a touch of a button thus resolving pending matters timeously.

What are your favourite apps and why?

  • Google now:  which pools data from various Google services that you use, including Gmail, Calendars, Maps, Search, YouTube etc. and provides information that it thinks you need right now.
  • Slack:  to help me with my projects, I’ve learned the importance of organized communication—convenient and sorted conversations between team members with hassle-free archive and search capability.
  • MS Office:  Probably this bundle (Word, PowerPoint and Excel) is that anyone miss in their phones, everyone has got installed. Syncing around all the devices is always my priority and this bundle fulfills.
  • Office Lens:  Office Lens trims, enhances, and makes pictures of whiteboards and documents readable. You can use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files, and save to OneNote,  OneDrive, or your local device.

How do you deal with conflicts or problems in the office?

It sounds like a cliché but communicating effectively can curb conflicts in the workplace.  When you communicate it needs in a professional manner, the approach must of a matured person and clear communication of any misinformation or miscommunication. Choosing one’s battles also helps in curbing conflict. 

Do you have some advice for aspiring Office Professionals?

“Setbacks are as valuable as successes–learn from the misstep, optimize the process, and nail it the next time.” Once saw this motto written at an office that I was attending an interview. Unfortunately for me I did not get the job but these words stuck with me.  Be yourself and do not settle for anything less than what you aimed for.  Create your own mold and do not try to fit into anyone else’s mold.  Trust your instinct and have eagerness to learn. Be kind to yourself, do not skip any steps.

Finish this sentence: My favourite thing about being an Office Professional is …

Understanding which puzzle piece am I in the organisation has helped me to play my part and play it well.  I understand that without me this picture will not be complete.  An effectively run office from admin, finance, liaison with stakeholders both internal and external bears positive results.  Have been privileged to report to management who is very supportive, willing to transfer skills, make time to sit and chat about their experiences and struggles.  Their though love finally paid off as it has pushed me outside my comfort zone and finally I was able to have faith and saw the potential they saw in me.  Forever grateful.

Leave a Reply

Scroll to top