Blog Post-Virtual Assistant Experience

Kelsey Zarcone

Data Entry Specialist
Virtual Assistant
Account Manager
G Suite
Microsoft Office 365

Looking for a Virtual Assistant?

Get help for all of your administrative needs from a Virtual Assistant with 10+ years of experience! I could upload my resume to tell you a little bit about my experience but I figured it would be better to dive into some of my core skills that I have learned from previous jobs, but as many of you know, an administrative assistant is really a jack of all trades and I have learned many other tasks that I have used to assist my clients in the past. Keep reading if you want to know why I am the perfect VA to join your team!

Photo: Jess Bailey

Staying organized in a chaotic world isn't easy. This is especially true for businesses where an array of different people working in different functions need to come together to keep it all running smoothly at the end of the day. Whether you're the head of accounting or the CEO, you know your job is important, but never overlook the importance of having a versatile administrative assistant in your corner as well. 

For most of my career I have worked in administrative assistant roles and I have noticed that when I tell someone I am an administrative assistant, they most often ask if I spend my days answering phones and getting coffee. I will admit that I have been in roles where I have done similar tasks for most of the day, but I have been in administrative roles where some have required that I perform different skills but all of them have taught me how to learn to wear different hats while working. 

Executive Assistant

After high school, I originally started my career as a sales associate at a clothing store. After about a year of working in retail, I was ready for a change, and it seemed like everyone on my life was telling me to get an office job because I would be "set" if I had one. I had no idea what that really meant at the time or what positions I could be suited for as someone without a college degree and had no idea where to begin. I did some research and found a job as an executive assistant. 

Typical executive assistant work includes answering phone calls, managing my supervisor's calendar, creating and updating travel itineraries, and ordering materials for the office. I didn't have a lot of experience with some of those tasks, but I felt like I would be able to handle it especially with the customer service skills I had to develop while working in retail. Just as I mentioned above, most of my days revolved around these tasks with some additional ones here and there. While the tasks themselves sound simple, learning to understand my boss's personality and what helped him work best plus coming up with a plan to keep everything organized in a way that would best suit him was a challenge in the beginning, but like every great job there is a learning curve and I make it a priority to learn these things about my employers as early as possible so things can run smoothly and efficiently even on the busiest days. Plus, making sure all of the office supplies as well as snacks in the break room are well stocked at all times is not easy when you carry the weight of dozens of potentially hangry people in your hands. 

Administrative Assistant- Logistics 

When I started to feel like I couldn't learn or grow much beyond my role in that company, I found a role as an administrative assistant at a process serving company. I will admit that when I was looking for that job, I barely glanced at the tasks required, thinking that it would be similar to my last job and just sent in the application. I had no idea what a process serving company was or how my daily tasks would be different in that role. During the few years I worked there, I was primarily in a logistics role. I was responsible for receiving all of the legal documents received from our out of state offices and law firms that were to be served to people who lived in the New York and Long Island areas. I was also responsible for all of the documents that were being sent back to our out of state offices and law firms, so by the end of each day I was responsible for hundreds of documents that were moving through the office. I was in charge of keeping meticulous records of where everything was going to and when as well as coordinating with servers to ensure the documents were served, signed, and delivered back to where they needed to be without causing delays in the legal process. From time to time a defendant would call me asking why they received documents, and it is not easy to provide excellent, polite customer service to someone who was just served a subpoena by the way, and I would help them figure out which law firm to get in touch with so they could receive all of the information on why they had been served those documents. During my time in this role, I was able to develop my organizational skills in a new way, learned a bit of logistics and data entry in order to help me keep track of all of those documents, and of course expanded my knowledge of people in order to provide clear, empathetic customer service to everyone who called seeking answers. 

Administrator- Client and Vendor Management + Data Entry

Until recently I worked as a Valuation & Advisory Administrator at a commercial real estate firm. While this role did have some more responsibilities than my previous roles, the biggest tasks that took up my days were responding to requests and questions from clients and vendors on a daily basis and data entry to keep track of building inspections, new assignments, etc. Pretty much every single request that came in needed to be filtered through me to determine whether it was a data entry type request, answer questions or concerns from clients, or coordinate with vendors to ensure that a job would be done in time or provide solutions to any roadblocks that came up in their path. This was by far the most demanding of the jobs I had during my career as an administrative professional, but I am grateful for the experience. It gave me the opportunity to improve my email etiquette since most of my communication at work before then had been over the phone and I got to learn more the importance of carefully and quickly entering information into the system for the company to be on the same page. This role also taught me about remaining flexible in my career because shortly after starting to work there, one of my teammates left and I had to step into her role as well, which was supposed to be temporary until Covid hit. 

Administrative professionals are really a jack of all trades type of position. No matter how small the task, from filing and coffee runs to logistics and customer service, every task performed in a company is vital to its success. As an administrative professional looking to make the switch to a Virtual Assistant, I know that sometimes we all need a hand in order for an office to function at its best. If you have been stuck in a task that isn't your strength or that you just don't have as much time for now that your business and priorities are changing, I would love to get in touch with you. Let me know how I can help you as your Virtual Assistant! 

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