[foundation-board] Engaging a PA/Admin Assistant: Nearing a Decision

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Mon Jul 12 08:23:51 UTC 2010

Subsequent to discussion at the last board meeting I have been
investigating the engagement of an Admin Assistant/PA for the last
several weeks. My main approach here has been through agencies and
have spoken in detail with two here in Cambridge (Tate and Ann
Pettengell) though I have also tried more direct routes (e.g. via
Kathryn Corrick).

I have now established a shortlist of 2 candidates. I outline the
salient points of the 2 candidates below. Any comments or views based
on this information would be very welcome.

At this point I am looking to make a decision in the next few days. I
would like to confirm with the Board that I am authorised to make this
engagement and commit to the associated expenditure (~10k a year) --
we certainly have the budget to cover this (e.g. JISC open bib stuff).

I should also note that, as discussed, it is likely this individual
would be engaged by me personally with the OKF agreeing to either
recompense me or pay them directly as necessary. If people thing it
would be better to do this differently please let me know as soon as



## Cynthia Dennison

CV: <https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1NbTMWH0LcblqsshZO-VS5tf0cvNnhil1lRj5ej3sgEc&hl=en&authkey=CIXdy8MN>

Cynthia has a strong PA background, having recently decided to move
away from her role with Marshalls to pursue a part-time PA role.

Cynthia has handled all manner of senior-level administration from:
diary management, taking phone calls and responding to emails on the
Director's behalf, booking travel and accommodation, updating
invoicing systems and spreadsheets and all manner of ad hoc admin as
it arose. She is polite, professional and articulate.

Cynthia would be looking for a role over 2.5-3 days per week, and is
flexible to work from home or the office in Cambridge.

* Very enthusiastic about the job and asked a lot of good and
reasonable questions about the OKF
* Is late-middle-aged with 2 grown up children (youngest of which is
at university)
* Just spent 10 years as PA/Administrator with Marshalls Aerospace as
PA to their head of engineering.
** She had helped her boss (and I think she did much of it) to draw up
annual engineering budget plan and get it approved
* A little bit timid and lacking in confidence on first impression but
during the interview this impression lessened.
* Seemed to have reasonable IT skills (e.g. used skype on her own to
talk to her son at Uni) but probably not stellar
* Interview was generally very positive and I was impressed by her enthusiasm
* Payment: £20k a year pro-rata-ed + employers NI. £1200 signing fee.

## Soreya Senior

CV: <https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1___olm8wTY9ISH7kG1XAhLrZlHqqVF9YEZMS4kMCnDk&hl=en&authkey=CMKDvNUJ>

Please find attached the CV for Soreya Senior who would like to be
considered for the part-time PA / Administrator role.

Soreya has a wealth of experience as PA and Executive Assistant at
very high levels including Vice President and Managing Director. In
Soreya’s most recent role at Amgen, she was responsible for travel
arrangements, diary and email support, organising events, managing
facilites as well as general adhoc administration.

Interview summary

* Professional (temp) PA for ~ 14 years. Recently a PA to senior
manager at AMGen (20k employees worldwide)
** Most of the PA positions seem to have been 6 month - 1 year
substitutions (out of choice AFAICT)
** Had done significant finance/admin work around 8/9 years ago and
had continued bits here and there in PA work
* Mid-to-low thirties AFAICT
* Wanting to switch out of traditional PA'ing due to overwork (having "no life")
* Clearly very capable (she has travelled around the world organizing
events, working with her boss etc)
* Seems to have good IT skills
* Not as interested or knowledgeable about the OKF as Cynthia (but
this not required at this stage!)
* Main concern was whether she would really want to stay with us in
the medium-term both because of where she is in her life/career and
also because of how interesting she would find what we were doing.
* Otherwise seemed very competent and on-the-ball with the skills
necessary for what we were doing
* Payment: ~ £18-20k a year pro-rata-ed + employers NI. 15% signing fee.

More information about the foundation-board mailing list