Aside from the day-to-day operational responsibilities I wrote about here, I've included below some information about what I believe to be some of my main skills, and a few of the major projects I've led or been a part of over the past couple of years. I have also provided some information about the various tech platforms I've gained experience with, and the associations of which I am a member, in order to keep up-to-date with developments in my industry.
Industry Association Memberships
- Marketing operations: I am well accustomed to juggling many different marketing and business development tasks on a daily basis, and majored in marketing during my years of tertiary education.
- Executive assistance: I have multiple years of experience assisting high-level management, including a Managing Director/President, with call and email screening, travel arrangements, board meetings, document drafting, minute taking, budget management, and internal gatekeeping. I have thoroughly enjoyed this part of my career thus far, as it ties directly into my natural interpersonal skills, and ability to be organized, take confidentiality seriously, always maintain a professional appearance, and remain calm under stress.
- Office management: I have gained experience with ordering office supplies, operating switchboards, attending to the needs of my colleagues, greeting visitors at reception, receiving and dispatching deliveries, IT troubleshooting, and job posting and tracking.
- Communication: I have a strong command of the English language - my home language, and the language in which all of my degrees and jobs have been conducted. I have, over numerous years, gained experience with communicating horizontally and vertically among internal business departments and managers, communicating with business partners and managing suppliers, manning the switchboard, assisting with recruitment, managing team members remotely (across Africa), drafting client presentations, editing articles and website content, performing community management on social media, creating training guides and videos, attending networking events, and representing companies at conferences, exhibitions, and networking events.
- Interpersonal skills: I am a people person at heart, and thoroughly enjoy building relationships both inside and outside the workplace. I have the ability to be diplomatic - voicing my opinion when necessary, but also compromising to get things done, and ensuring I get along with everyone. Tact, thoughtfulness, and empathy are important to me when dealing with others. I've been told I have a calming nature.
- Technology: For as long as I can remember, I've been enamored with tech developments. Over and above the interest I have for such in my personal life, my work has allowed me to gain a wealth of experience across many tech platforms, which you can view in the section below this one. Having grown up surrounded by technology, I have experience building computers, providing tech support (both in-person and remotely), and researching and training others on new software systems. My average typing speed is 90 words per minute.
- Adaptability: I have experience working in organizations ranging from 2,500 on-site employees to just 5. Some of these workplaces have been relaxed, and others have been high-stress environments. I enjoy both working as part of a diverse team - a reality wherever you go in South Africa - and have considerable experience managing my work and time independently. Growth and learning are lifelong processes for me, and this filters into a mindset of being flexible in changing environments and an ever-evolving industry.
- Working under pressure, according to a schedule: I've become very used to managing my own workflow, being able to complete multiple tasks on time, often under pressure, both with and without collaboration. I do this while remaining level-headed and composed.
- Leadership: I have at numerous points in time been required to manage consultants, conduct training sessions, and be the go-to person for the roll-out of various business systems (7 in total, thus far). I have taken the lead for numerous projects over the years, and this has fostered an attentive, democratic leadership style that I carry with me today.
- Decision making and problem-solving: A lot of my full-time work has involved projects where I have been briefed, and then left to my own devices to find solutions that best suit the business environment, within the respective scopes and budgets. I enjoy being challenged, and learning new methodologies along the way.
- Analytics: I have always had an analytical mind, and have put this to good use throughout the years, not only in academia, but when compiling reports, tracking performance metrics, managing departmental budgeting, and performing competitor analyses.
- Digital marketing/SEO/Social media: I have experience across all major social channels, as well as with basic HTML for website updates, reporting, online advertising, and website analytics and optimization. The website you are reading right now was designed, and partially coded, by myself.
- Design/creativity: I have done design work ranging from video editing to creating business cards, flyers, brochures, web pages, banners, presentations, live webinars, labels, books, and logos.
- Website development: WordPress, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, cPanel
- Email marketing and newsletter management: MailChimp
- Survey design: SurveyMonkey, Google Forms
- Customer relationship management: Zendesk, Skynamo
- Work management: Asana, Basecamp
- Office suites: Microsoft Office, G Suite, WPS Office
- Travel management: Vamoos, Relocation Online
- Communication: Slack, Outlook, G Suite
- Operating systems: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS
- Social media management: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Google My Business, Sendible
- Video editing: VSDC, iMovie, Lightworks
- Webinars: Zoom, WebinarJam
- Design: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Calibre, iBooks Author, Canva, Paint.net
Projects and achievements (2017 - Present at Relocation Africa)
- Analytics drive for reporting: I implemented a number of processes for tracking the performance of the business' online presence. From adding tags to websites, to linking to analytics dashboards, to monthly reporting for the Board, the business ended up with a better idea of how we were growing and interacting with consumers online.
- Social media expansion: I launched the business' YouTube and Instagram channels, to add to the existing social scope. I grew the company's total social followers (across all channels) by 47%. I also grew the newsletter subscriber base by 15%, and increased our web traffic by 150%.
- Videos and webinars: I launched a monthly live webinar series, in keeping with the trend towards a more visual presentation of our services. This involved writing scripts, designing presentation slides, and managing the technical aspects of 12 international webinars. You can view one of the webinars I hosted, as well as some training videos I hosted, on this page.
- Virtual orientations: COVID-19 had far-reaching impacts within the relocation and immigration industries. As such, when we decided to go virtual for our clients, I saw an opportunity to be a part of some real innovation, and rose to the challenge. I conducted video interviews with realtors and school administrators from around South Africa on Zoom, and edited these to fit our new video. I wrote a script, and narrated it over scenes from around the country. Finally, I created design elements to show future expat families what the country might be like for them, to help them make decisions before their feet even hit the ground after the pandemic subsided. Together, these pieces of the puzzle formed our new Virtual Orientation package, which was sold independently, and paired with existing packgaes for families relocating into Africa. As far as we were aware, we were the first company on the continent to offer such a service.
- Design work: As the business expanded, I changed all our material, both physical and digital, to align with business achievements, partnerships, new team members and roles, and the expansion of new divisions. Items ranged from logos and promotional material to the website and business cards.
- In-housing social media management: Before I began, this role was outsourced. The responsibilities were transferred to me, and included sourcing content, community management posting and responding to job ads, updating business information, and tracking engagement.
- New PA process for the Managing Director: Responsibilities for managing the day-to-day activities of the MD gradually transferred to me, including booking local and international trips, screening calls and emails, arranging meetings and schedules, writing letters, acting as the internal gatekeeper, managing calendars, and sitting in on meetings. I also performed these tasks for other Directors as needed.
- New conference strategy: This was a collaborative development whereby a new strategy was put in place for attending a certain number of local and foreign conferences per annum, for networking and business exposure purposes. Budgeting for this was implemented, for tracking, and conference stand designs and features were planned and rolled out. I then became the de facto event manager for local conferences, and managed four separate business exhibitions.
- Compliance: I was part of the team that conducted a GDPR audit for the entire business, when the legislation came into effect. My focus was on the tech platforms we used, and how we house, use, and disseminate customer data. In 2019, I was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility and Data and IT Security audit committees for the recertification of the company's Global Quality Seal from EuRA.
- Job post changes: I worked with the HR Manager to switch over to a new job posting platform. My focus was on how the business presented itself, and how we linked posts to social media. Prior to this, only our own website and referrals were used. Later, I began serving as the go-between for HR, for job applications on certain platforms.
- In-housing of editing: I took over the responsibilities of editing our city and country guides, and fact sheets, that are provided to our clients during their relocations. I also began writing articles in-house, to supplement my usual posting of industry-related news, having written a total of 500 articles on various industry-related topics.
- Lead generation campaign: I launched and managed our first lead generation campaign, which involved developing training material and policies for our consultants, managing them across Africa, and following up on leads across the continent from our head office.
- Referral system: During my tenure, the business expanded by adding an Expat Tax division, as well as a separate subsidiary business. A Director in the Immigration division also left the company and bought out her shares. These three changes meant a new referral fee tracking system needed to be put in place. I developed a way to track potential leads, and monitor referrals from head office to our two new partner consultants and our subsidiary, so that billing could be executed accordingly.
- Software integration: I was part of researching and rolling out a new payroll system, two new CRM systems, new design software, two new client-side apps, a conferencing app, an internal communications system, and a webinar platform for the business. Once contracts were signed, I ensured all required team members were trained to use the new software, and communicated with the respective developers for any changes that were needed. I then became the software lead for these projects, and began providing ad hoc general tech support to all members of the head office team, to alleviate the costs of outsourced IT support requests.
- Service change with new systems: At the start of 2019, we were asked to find a way to offer the same quality services that usually spanned two days, in a more compact form. I assisted with customizing and rolling out a new online portal, through which we began offering DIY half-day packages to our clients. I was also responsible for training colleagues, and acting as the intermediary for communication between the portal development team and our head office. These internal changes resulted in our winning a global Business Innovation award from one of our largest clients.
- Humanizing the business: For 2019, one of the business' goals was to portray itself more personally. As one of the drivers of this initiative, I implemented team bios, which were shared with clients, team photos in our email signatures, redesigned name badges, staff spotlight articles, a Meet the Team page on our website, posts and articles with a more internal business focus, and webinars on rotation amongst different staff members, to introduce them to our major clients. As this approach was a proven success, it was rolled out to our Consultants across Africa.
- Staff wellness: I was part of planning new staff events, including reviving monthly team-building events, a weekly team memo, events commemorating anniversaries and birthdays, and an annual staff function. A "daily huddle" was later added to increase interaction, understanding, and cohesion among team members.
- Entrenching existing client relationships: My marketing team decided that it would be more cost-effective, and align better with over-arching business strategy, if we sought to develop and maintain existing client relationships to a greater degree, rather than constantly searching for new clients. New client pitches would continue, however, I was part of developing and executing a strategy to retain existing clients, tracking their satisfaction levels with our services, organizing follow-up meetings and calls with our Director, and ensuring that potential leads from existing clients were tracked and attended to by the relevant parties. This effort culminated with our winning a global Service Excellence award from one of our largest clients.
- Relationship building: I see one of my greatest achievements as the time and effort I put into building numerous strong relationships with my colleagues, suppliers, and business partners. While I dealt with many different personality types, and this was not always easy, I persevered. Ultimately, I was able to have strong, lasting working relationships with the entire management team, my fellow colleagues, my contacts on my supplier list, and our business partners. This also allowed me to assist with the onboarding of 3 new team members.