MEMBER PROFILE, AUGUST 2019
This month’s profile is all about IAM Fellow, Samanth Lewin.
1) Tell us a little about your career, how it started and where has it taken you?
I started working in the mid-1980s and lots has changed in the office environment since then! I’ve been working within the water industry ever since and I can honestly say I have enjoyed it all. I’ve always worked in business administration, starting as a shorthand typist and rising to a personal assistant then to a senior executive. Now I am a business support assistant and support 4 senior managers – sounds a lot I know but they all work very differently and require supporting differently too. I am fortunate in that everyone I have worked with over the years has taught me something and has treated me well.
2) What are the challenges you find in your workplace?
I work for a public body and the deadlines can be very reactive and short – this sometimes causes frustration for my managers and myself, but means life is never dull.
3) What are the challenges you find in your role?
Not many now thankfully but maybe my expectations have changed. Late information and deadlines can cause a bit of juggling workload wise for me.
4) What is the best advice you could give to someone in a similar role and how to progress
Work for as many different people or teams for variety and to increase your learning. Stay calm, nothing lasts, just roll with it – everyone has bad days. Maintain a really good perspective and sense of humour. I always keep cookies or chocolate on standby for some of the rough days! Talk to someone in your peer group that you know well if you have a difficult task or issue to tackle. It’s always good to hear a different point of view and it may help you to find a solution.
5) what do you think the most important things are for people to develop in the current market?
Flexibility and patience are two “musts” for me.
6) What do you feel your best achievements are?
I think you may have to ask the managers I work with! But I’d like to think I always try to be as helpful and consistent in my work as I can. If I am given deadlines then I will do everything I can to meet them, but I am always realistic and honest if I can’t. Being truthful is always appreciated. It builds trust in your abilities. I am also particularly proud of being given the opportunity to take part in a question and answer panel session at the launch of our Professional Administrators Network. There were 150 others, PA, VA, secretary and managers at the conference. I do not do public speaking well, so to say I was nervous is an understatement! I received some great feedback afterwards on the responses I gave which was really kind.