First off I must say…This PA is A w e s o m e.
I’ve super loved getting to know Sara & think she just plain ROCKS! Having this gal in your corner is a must.
This stellar PA has climbed her way up to the top through sheer hard work & perseverance. How much do I think of her? Well, she’s going to get 2 posts from me. Yep, TWO!
Stay tuned for PART II & what her message will be that I think everyone should be informed about regarding finances.
LH: How did you become a Personal Assistant & did you have prior experience as one?
Sara: I became a Personal Assistant by a process of networking and utilizing all the experience I gained through my previous positions. Throughout college, I always thought how interesting it would be to become a high profile Personal Assistant and help someone organize their life.
I knew it probably wasn’t as glamorous or easy as it looked but I knew I would be good at it. I didn’t have any connections, I just “hustled.” I did a million internships while holding down a part time job at a radio station in LA and going to school full time. I interned in every area you can think of (record label, television shows, studios, etc). I was enthusiastic and persistent but not annoying…hard place to find. Each internship lead me to the next, then to production assistant work and eventually a full time job (Coordinator at a radio station in LA) before graduation.
I think the above was key for me to get where I am today. Fast forward to moving to New York, it was the first time was I going to be a true Assistant and needed tips and tricks on how to do it well. So I started doing research. I read several books and started following bloggers (like Ms. Lindsey Holder) who had helpful tips and tricks of the trade and all the while working as an Executive Assistant at a film studio, television talent agency and a music management company.
Eventually, I built a small network of people doing what I was doing or wanting to do.
Note to readers, twitter and facebook can be a powerful networking tool. Through one of the connections that started with the amazing Lindsey Holder, I was able to get my current role (thanks again Lindsey). It is definitely different than any other position I have had but one that I would not be able to do well without the experience of all the other positions.
LH: You are currently traveling around the world you lucky duck!!
What items do you bring with you to recharge in your spare time & also that remind you of home?
Sara: I am currently a Touring/Personal Assistant to a musician and lucky enough to tour around the world with them. It is my first time touring and it has been an amazing experience so far. Granted, it takes a certain personality to be able to do this and be away from home for so long but there are some things you can do to make the road feel like home.
I actually remember reading a tip that Lindsey had posted about bringing your favorite candle on the road with you. I definitely have loved having my two favorites with me (one from Gucci – a gift from a previous boss and the other is Warm Vanilla Sugar from Bath and Body Works).
Another item that has been nice to have is my brand new Kindle Fire. My parents knew I was leaving for the month of December on this tour and gave me my Christmas present early (thanks mom and dad!). It has been so nice not to lug books around this leg of the tour and have a good book or two with me.
Not to mention I get to connect with friends on facebook from there. That honestly makes me feel more connected to home than anything else. What did we do before social networking while being on the road?! :)
LH: What traveling tips have you learned along the way that make a smoother trip?
Sara: Always be ready, especially before your boss is (packed the night before, having eaten, having your passport, boarding pass and items out on the security line ready to go, etc). I find being one step ahead helps to anticipate things that may come up.
1} Two cell phone chargers!!! One for the hotel and one for you while on the road. You will always run out of battery power. International travel also definitely requires a good adapter!
2} Comfy/fuzzy socks & your own blanket for the plane are a must as well as a scarf to block out that plane air (so many people get sick being on as many planes as we are…so I use the scarf to block out that plane air as much as possible).
3} Ear plugs & eye mask to block out the light and noisy plane neighbors (key to traveling like this is to get as much sleep as possible)
4} Have your JIC bag always handy – “just in case” bag! Even if you think you won’t use the item, you always do. For example, I knew we would be going to concert venues so I randomly packed a small flashlight. Has saved me so many times on this trip (getting the artist on and off stage or moving through a dark hallway).
Other items in the bag include safety pins, hair spray, sharpies (black, red and silver), gum, artist perfume, double sided tape, floss, lip balm/lipstick, bottle opener, bobby pins, hand sanitizer, Advil, band aids, small pack of tissue, tums, baggies, etc. This has saved me from a lot of unnecessary running around at the last minute to find something.
LH: Your Hometown when not on tour is NYC! What is Your Fav. Place in NY for a :
a.} Quick fabulous mani/pedi:
Sara: I am all about a good mani/pedi and at a good price. Amazing what a little pampering can do within a budget! When I am home in NY, a definite place is May’s Nails – 202 W 14th St (between 7th Ave & 8th Ave). They do a really good mani/pedi for $20 and it lasts awhile.
When I am home in LA , I go to Glendora Nails – 1776 North Barranca Avenue Glendora, CA. By far, the best pedicure and waxing place. Tammy and her team treat you like family and when I am home in LA, which is often, I definitely stop here every time. Again, responsibly priced and they take their time with pedicures!
b.} YUMMY lunch place with the girls:
Sara: Brunch is huge in NYC…especially on Sundays (well, and no one really has time for lunch). I love the West Village spot, Philip Marie. They have really good food and an unlimited mimosa special that can’t be beat! Everyone once in awhile you get a good West Village celeb spotting too. :)
A G I N O R M O U S thank you for Sara helping out other PA’s & answering questions during your hectic schedule! Follow @sarapereda