A Day in the Life of Lola.com's EA
“Wait… so what does an Executive Assistant actually do?”
It’s a question I get asked. A lot. If you had asked me that exact question last year, I probably would have given a description like “that person in the office who organizes calendars and books travel.”
I interviewed with Paul English (Lola.com’s co-founder and CTO) a little over a year ago. I became interested in EA job opportunities after realizing that my skill set was better geared towards organizational roles and not the jobs I had tried right after college. Why organizational? I’m that girl who started color coding her binder in third grade, always arrives fifteen minutes early to just about everything, and finds joy in conditional formatting excel sheets. I promise I’m still fun!
Here I am at Lola’s 2017 LolaQuest event, “Lolavision.”
So what does an EA actually do? I’ve learned it’s more than fetching coffee and sending calendar invites. My job touches every department in the company in some way. I thought it would be fun to jot down what a “typical” busy day for an EA who works in a start-up looks like:
8:30a: I get to the office, set up a room for an interview and make sure internal schedules are good to go.
9:00a: Time for a phone meeting with Paul to go over his schedule and catch up.
9:30a: Paul needs to go to Philly this weekend, so I book his flight in minutes through using Lola.com's Book on Behalf feature, a tool which allows me to make travel arrangements for colleagues.
9:45a: I meet with a service team candidate for the culture portion of the interview.
10:30a: The printer breaks. I end up elbows deep in printer parts before realizing that it just needs more toner.
11:00a: A Lola team member forgets to book a conference room for a meeting with a vendor. That team member is now standing in front of my desk looking panicked. I swap rooms around in the calendar, get the external party settled and grab them coffee (ok so I guess I do grab coffee!)
11:30a: I schedule an engineering team meeting for later in the week to discuss the newest Lola feature updates. I need to order catering for that lunch and the group wants tacos. Luckily, I can ask my #SmarterEA slack group for the best recommendations in the area.
12:00p: A few Lola people are headed out to the food trucks to grab lunch so I join the convoy.
2:00p: I visit a potential venue for this year's Holiday party with the Lola party planning team. We negotiate the food and beverage minimum to stay in budget.
2:15p: Note to self: we need to top last year’s party. I should look into the cost of hiring circus performers. I wonder how the venue feels about fire?
2:30p: While out of the office, I get a frantic text message that Paul’s flight is cancelled. Thankfully, we book our travel with Lola.com (of course!) and Lola saves the day (did you know Lola comes equipped with 24/7 travel agents?!) They swoop in and find him an alternate flight home in minutes. Now I can go back to googling local circus performers with five star reviews.
3:00p: I’m back at Lola HQ. I join a conference call with board member EAs. We’re trying to schedule a call across six time zones, which is always a challenge!
4:00p: I confirm all of Paul’s meetings and appointments for tomorrow.
4:30p: Time for a call with a local non-profit organization, brainstorming our next volunteer outing for Lola.
5:00p: I book a dinner reservation for Paul, making sure the hostess reserves his favorite table by the windows.
5:30p: My day is done! Bonus: I won Lola’s Red Sox tickets earlier, so now I’m headed to Fenway. :)
This job can certainly be a whirlwind, but I love that every day is different and I’m always learning something new! If you’re a busy executive assistant or office manager, I highly suggest you check out Lola.com to use our new book on behalf feature, it’s a life saver! If you want to learn more, you can schedule a call with our team, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.