My boss is very enthusiastic and supportive of my studies and of my working towards this designation. She sees that not only will it benefit me but it benefits the organization to support me in growing myself as an Executive Assistant.
It’s been wonderful to meet new people and challenge myself to learn new things. I have truly enjoyed my studies so far. I also love the flexibility that I can take the courses online as I have 2 small children and a partner who works shift work, so committing myself to one night per week at class was difficult! Thank you to the Association for providing such a wonderful program to assist all of us to grow, learn and evolve in our roles.
Sue C. (Barrie/Simcoe County Branch)
Initially, I joined the Association of Administrative Assistants in order to network and socialize with others in administrative positions, and then I started taking courses to get my Qualified Administrative Assistant (QAA) designation. Over the course of six years, I completed a general certificate and a marketing certificate through the University of Calgary’s management certificate program. After I completed the first certificate, I graduated with my QAA through the Association. During the time I was taking my first certificate, I received a promotion and a raise at my work. My manager at that time told me that the promotion and the raise were a direct result of my taking courses and working towards my QAA. While I was taking the second certificate, I applied for and was one of the successful applicants for a scholarship. I have since changed careers, but the courses and getting my QAA had the result of making me more marketable when I got laid off in 2000. Since then I have been working contract. My first position was a six month position as the event manager at a not-for-profit fund raising event. Since then I have been working contract doing records management, project management, and organizational design work. I think that having the experience of going back to school and learning new things increased my confidence, my abilities, and my marketability. Working towards the QAA designation was what got me started going back to school. Without that incentive I wouldn’t be where I am today: doing work I love and getting paid more than double what I was getting paid as a salaried employee. By maintaining my membership and QAA status in the Association, I have had the further benefit of meeting and networking with a great group of like-minded people. At the local level, I am exposed to interesting speakers and educational opportunities at every meeting. As well, I have had the opportunity of traveling to other cities in Canada for events at other chapters of the organization for annual meetings and educational workshops.
Ronaye W., QAA (Calgary Branch)
I first joined the Association of Administrative Assistants when I wanted to get a more challenging, executive position with a better salary. I completed the QAA university courses over the course of three years and not only enjoyed meeting people from all industries and levels of an organization, but I did land a great new job! The material I learned in the courses will help me no matter what industry I work in. On one occasion, my interviewer recognized our organization because her mother was an older member! On another occasion, the posting came through our branch contact. My current employer still posts administrative openings through our branch site. Thank you, AAA, you’ve made a big difference in my life! I’ve made lifetime friends and work for a great company!
Aldena T., QAA (Toronto Branch)
I joined the Association in 1999 and within a few short months, I was so enthused with what I saw the Association was doing, I joined the executive to assist the Program Chairperson and then was a Program Co-Chair for two terms. As program co-chair I was able to quickly improve my speaking skills by introducing and thanking speakers at various regular monthly meetings and conferences. When I joined I felt I was at the point in my career that I did not really need to be looking at any further education/training but, I very quickly changed my thinking. I now feel that there are always new skills needed so I can continue to be successful, no matter what stage I am in my life. The Association has also assisted me gaining more confidence, to deal with problems in the workplace and how to better look at new solutions. As well it has made me more convinced that it is extremely important to have humor and laughter in the workplace. Networking is a big key factor with the Association and I feel that this has helped me greatly in today’s ever-changing world. I feel the Association definitely does what it says – encourages members to further their education, enhance their career opportunities, by enhancing their skills and abilities in a changing and increasingly competitive world. After each regular monthly meeting (and Annual Conference) I come away feeling revitalized and ready for any new challenges that may come my way.
Kathy P. (Edmonton Branch) 1999-2005
I have often said to my fellow Toronto Branch members “if it wouldn’t have been for Vidya, a Branch executive member, I wouldn’t be here” and that is quite true. We both worked for the same company and a chance conversation resulted in my membership, due in large part to her perseverance and commitment to the Association. I do feel like I have joined a “sisterhood” of professionals who share the same experiences and goals as I do. In so doing, I also have the opportunity to gain wonderful friendships. The profession has always been a challenge. How do you support someone else’s career and carve one out for yourself? However, many of us are a testimonial and an example to the profession, trying to uphold the values of the past and encompassing the technological advances of the future. A proud ongoing member for the future because I think it’s the right thing to do.
Nicole N. (Toronto Branch)
I was invited to join the Association of Administrative Assistants in 1997 by Vidya, who worked for a valued client of the advertising agency I was with. I had long admired Vidya’s sense of professionalism and dedication to her work and was flattered that she felt my talents would be assets to the Association. I enjoy associating with colleagues who are equally dedicated to a career of administration, facilitation, diplomacy and multi-tasking and I would say to those interested in membership, that the Association has afforded me with a willingness to perfect my craft, provided me with a sense of ownership and empowerment and has enriched me with an appreciation that the job I do greatly benefits the management and the organization I work for. Equally valuable, the mentorship of the Executive has prompted me to raise the bar in both my professional and personal life and I am encouraged that the Association will continue to nurture and support the talent within its family and will continue to do so for its second fifty years and beyond.
Chris C. (Toronto Branch)
As a recipient of the $100 bursary for highest marks in the QAA program, I would like to thank the Edmonton Branch for their role in providing the encouragement and inspiration to continue through the years to reach that goal. It is not easy to attend classes after work, raise a family and take courses at the same time as many of you know, however when we see others reach their goal we see that it is possible. When the goal of receiving the QAA Certificate has been achieved it is the greatest feeling of accomplishment. I also appreciated finding a way to extend my education in the administrative field. I was unable to take a regular two year, full time course at any of the colleges because of my family commitments. This program fit my education goals perfectly. I would like to encourage all who are interested in learning more to take part in this program, you will not regret it, it is a great aid to helping you reach your career goals.