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EA HIGHLIGHT: Sandy Varela, Executive Business Partner

Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Sandy and I first met at an ELS conference in New York, back in the fall of 2019. We both sat next to each other and have kept in touch ever since! One of the first things I noticed when talking to Sandy, was her goal-driven nature and her genuine love for the industry and for learning. Naturally, we became friends and even though we are over 1,000 miles away we still continue to be a great support system to one another. Here's a glimpse of what makes Sandy such an inspiring assistant!

Elite Assisting: Sandy, thank you so much for agreeing to be featured, let's start off by telling us a little about yourself?

Sandy: I’m 35, I was born in Honduras, and I came to the USA when I was 2 years old. I grew up in Miami and attended NSU. I graduated with a dual major in Criminal Justice & business administration. My first EA job was at Job Corp in Albany, Georgia where I was the Executive Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer back in 2001!

Elite Assisting: Wow! You have an impressive 19 years under your belt as an assistant, what inspired you to start your career in this industry?

Sandy: Well, It’s a career that I fell into, I was fresh out of High School and at the time I didn't really know what an EA did, I fell in love with the craft since then! Personally, I never liked jobs that felt robotic, I’m a person that gets bored easily and this is definitely a position that keeps me on my toes!

Elite Assisting: Did you have a mentor when you first started or any support?

Sandy: No, I wish someone would have taken me under their wing. I learned everything on my own. Back in 2001, we didn’t have Facebook or Linkedin! We relied on word of mouth only, it was very challenging but not impossible.

Elite Assisting: Don't we all? What's your opinion on working for smaller companies? Are there any disadvantages?

Sandy: I strongly suggest not to work for a small business, look for a company that has an established culture that fits your mission, vision, and values. A small business will not pay you much, they will only look at you as a “secretary”.

Elite Assisting: What is your favorite part of being an assistant?

Sandy: I thrive on “the impossible tasks”, the tasks no one wants to handle because they feel like “it can't be done”, I love showing them it can get done! Find your secret sauce, we all have one.

Elite Assisting: Ok one last question. What advice would you give to someone just starting out?

Sandy: I strongly suggest to stay away from small businesses, find a mentor and become more involved with other EA's for support. Use social media to your advantage, you're not alone and there are many other EA's out there willing to share their experience and tips of the trade. Listen and learn, stay humble and overall love the craft and it will never feel like a job!

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