General Article

The Position Of Administrative Assistant Is A Support Role Vital To Any Company

The Position Of Administrative Assistant Is A Support Role Vital To Any Company

Administrative Assistant positions are not hard to find, as there are a variety of different opportunities within this field. With the right education and training, you could be anything from a receptionist to an office manager. For many people, working as an Administrative Assistant is rewarding and pays a comfortable salary. But are you cut out to be an Administrative Assistant?

Administrative Assistants, in general, provide support to a company or office. Depending on your position, you may assist a single executive of a company, or you may serve the typing, filing, and communications needs of many people. Some of your duties may include answering phones, making travel arrangements, proofreading documents, and writing business letters.

To excel in this field, you should have excellent writing, proofreading, and communications skills. You may be responsible for composing your boss’s emails or letters, so you will need to have a professional business writing tone as well as an eye for catching mistakes. Materials that you send out will be a reflection of your company, and you will often be the last person to see a letter or document before it is sent to a client.

You will need to have excellent typing skills. Many Administrative Assistant positions require a great deal of typing responsibilities, so you must be fast and accurate. Often, before being hired, you will be asked to take a typing test. An Administrative Assistant certificate program at a community college or trade school will generally offer typing classes.

You must have a pleasant, professional demeanor in order to be successful in an Administrative Assistant position. Often, you will be the representative of the company that the client first sees and hears, since you will generally receive walk-in customers, answer phones, and handle correspondence. You should be courteous and well-spoken at all times.

You will also need to possess any specialized skills that may be required for your position. For example, if you are an accounting assistant, you will need to have a background and education in accounting. You will also need to have extensive knowledge of the computer programs required by your office. You will need to be familiar with the Microsoft Office Suite at the very least, as well as any other programs specific to the field you are working in.

If you feel that you have the potential to be an excellent Administrative Assistant, a degree program or certificate program can help you develop the skills you need to succeed in this job. The more education you get, the more potential you have to attain a higher-level position. A candidate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business or a related field will likely be more qualified for a higher-paying position or hold a managerial position within an office. If you have at least an Associate’s degree, as well as the essential general office skills, you should be employable in your field.

General Article

How to Be a Successful Adult Student – Overview of Four Academic Skills

How to Be a Successful Adult Student – Overview of Four Academic Skills

When taking on the role and responsibility of being an adult student, there are several skills that a person needs to develop and enhance. Some of those skills involve activity in the classroom, such as listening, taking notes, and participating. Some of those skills are used in all walks of life, not just as a student, such as time management, organization, and prioritization. However, some of the skills are geared towards the efforts in the classroom while occurring outside the classroom. This include, among other skills, reading, writing, skill improvements, and scheduling. More so than in many other endeavors, these skills can dramatically improve the performance of an adult student.


Of primary importance is the skill of reading. Og Mandino claims that reading is the one skill that was taught at schools that can transform a person’s life. This skill involves two parts: the efficiency of reading and the habit of reading. Both must be used to their fullest, and these two parts support and enhance each other.

Reading efficiently means that when a person reads they get the information. A person does not need to read fast if they can read the material once and get what is needed. It is better to read slowly and get the content the first time than to speed read only to have to reread the material. Efficiency is a matter of taking the time and concentrating on the details of what is being read, which can be done by a person at any level of reading ability. Speed comes with practice; taking a speed reading course when unable to glean the necessary contents simply causes a person to read, reread, and reread the material again and again. It is more effective, in my opinion, to get it right the first time.

However, no matter how good a reader a person is, the capability will be meaningless unless it is used. Again, it is not the amount that is important but the consistency of activity. Instead of reading the newspaper in the morning, start reading a book. Replace television watching with reading. Pick a time and try to read something at that time every day; this will increase the chance of forming the habit of reading. Not everything read needs to be “important” or “helpful”; read just for fun. The key is not the material being read but the habit of reading. Once the habit is acquired, then the material can be controlled.


Writing is probably the most important method of communication between two people. In this day of texting and instant messaging, the importance of writing can sometimes be lost and buried, but this critical quality of writing cannot be destroyed.

Writing serves several purposes. First, writing is one of the few ways to communication will a multitude of people (along with public speaking). Second, writing is one of the few (relatively) permanent forms of communication. Third, a person can write something and then review the material before releasing it (unlike talking or texting, where some people seem to engage the message before the brain). Fourth, writing can help one clarify thoughts, arguments, and positions. And, finally, fifth, writing allows one to express emotions in a non-harmful fashion. This last can be done by writing down whatever one is feeling, reading over the written material, and then destroying it without releasing.

Skill Improvement

Stephen Covey, in his seminal work “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”, talks about “sharpening the saw.” The analogy he is using is about cutting wood; if your saw is dull, you can work forever without getting anything done. Instead, by taking the time to sharpen the saw, the job gets finished in a minimal amount of time.

People need to do the same thing with their skills, their beliefs, and their capabilities. Take the time to keep in shape, whether that is physically, intellectually, or spiritually. In the school environment, this takes the form of reviewing notes not just from current classes but also from previous classes. Work at understanding the interrelationships between course material and the structure of the program of study where you are studying. Engage with fellow students and instructors to bring out nuances of course material and thus build a complete picture.

Earl Nightingale said that if one studies one’s job for an hour a day, in five years the person will become an expert in their field. In an academic environment, that time can be sliced in half or smaller, particularly with the help and support of instructors. Work at being an expert, not just a graduate.


Whether scheduling is properly part of time management or the result of time management is debatable. However, being able to create and use a schedule is a skill much needed by an adult student. This is considered an academic skill because of the need to meet class schedules, which can be significantly more strict than career schedules. However, scheduling could certainly be considered a life skill as well.

Building the Skill Set

None of these skills can ever be truly perfected, but then we are not perfect. Instead, we are best when we are improving ourselves. Taking these, and other necessary and helpful skills, and building a set of capabilities will dramatically improve results as an adult students as well as in the professional realm. By assessing oneself, starting with the results, and working to improve, one can become an incredibly effective student, professional, and person.