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Our 2018 Page Personnel EA of the Year Winner
Our annual Page Personnel EA of the Year competition seeks to recognise Executive Assistants (EAs) who go above and beyond in their work. From a pool of extremely qualified candidates, we have selected our Page Personnel EA of the Year for 2018. The winner is Michelle Goulos, Executive Assistant and Marketing Coordinator at Melbourne Airport (VIC). This is why she’s a deserving winner.
From 4am wake-ups to preparing last minute marketing collaterals to present to stakeholders, Michelle sets the standard for what it means to be an indispensible EA. Her manager boasts that very simply, she can’t live without her.
Michelle has a high achievement drive and anticipating issues that might come up is second nature to her. In recognition of her performance, the organisation has a succession plan for her to become EA to the CEO, as it is evident that she loves what she does.
Achievements as an EA
Working at Melbourne Airport for the Chief of Parking and Ground Access (PGA) this last year has been a particularly big year. With the introduction of rideshare apps like UBER, new ground transport facilities and the announcement of the Melbourne Airport rail link, supporting the Chief is dynamic, fast paced and demanding. Here are just a few things Michelle has achieved in her role so far.
-Becoming a trusted member of the immediate critical response team. In the incident room, very serious situations are dealt with, and there are only a handful of stakeholders in the business that are trusted to be in that room. Michelle has earned her place there.
-Organising team building exercises, and thinking out of the box about what would suit each team from an engagement perspective. This has decreased turnover and become a key highlight in employment engagement surveys.
-Organising her manager’s life entirely in both professional and personal aspects. Her manager is a mum of two and without Michelle, there would be no small touches in her kids’ lifes such as presents for teachers or reminders of when to attend parent teacher evenings.
-Constantly looking to improve. For example, she took a social media course to add value to the marketing team and improve marketing to customers.
-Recruitment and onboarding of all of EA’s into the organisation. With this critical responsibility, she ensures that they all take great pride in what they do and work together as a team to achieve the overall goal.
-Keeping any hours that are necessary to get the job done. For example, 4am wake-ups to get her manager ready for media events and long hours completing presentations for last minute shareholder meetings. On one recent project in particular, she turned around marketing collateral within 12 hours for an urgent board meeting.
-Being identified as a leader of change and culture ambassador for her team and the wider organisation. Her performance ratings are the highest achievable for the business.
As Michelle put it:
“I am more than an EA, I am also a PA and friend to my Chief. Our relationship is unchallengeable and a flawless foundation for strong dynamics and representation for the business to internal and external stakeholders. My Chief openly says she cannot live without me and the feeling is mutual.”
Beyond the work
Michelle has received the award of culture champion through Melbourne airport for the last four years running. It is decided by the staff at the airport which includes ground staff as well as retail. She is the only person to ever win this award consecutively. Everyone she interacts with receives the same service, and she ensures that she is approachable to all staff across the airport.
Her shining EA moment
The world of airport work is fast moving, but one event in particular stands out. One night, there was an emergency crisis at the airport. After Michelle left at midnight, her manager had to call her at 3am to come back in. Her manager was attending a live feed at sunrise. Armed with straighteners, makeup, fresh clothes and a laptop, Michelle helped her manager prepare for the live feed by doing her hair, makeup and writing her script.
When asked, her manager put it simply: “I can’t stress enough how much Michelle goes above and beyond in her day to day work."