Within the personal assistant industry, Bonnie Low-Kramen has been helping PA’s become more effective in their roles. From co- founding the New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA) to writing her book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, Bonnie has strived to elevate the industry and the PAs that work so hard within it.
Along with Vickie Sokol Evans, Microsoft Office Master Wizard (okay, the technical term is Master Microsoft Certified Trainer, but we all know she actually works magic), Bonnie has branched out into comprehensive workshops. Conveniently held in a different US city every month, the workshops cover everything from technical computer applications to the crucial interpersonal skills.
In this month’s Education Spotlight, Bonnie and Vicki share more about their unique workshops…
Be the Ultimate Assistant weekend workshops have been touring since November 2011. (Editor Note: Bonnie was a celebrity assistant for over 25 years. Her book, Be the Ultimate Assistant, was published in 2008).
2. In a nutshell, what do you teach?
In a two-day 15 hour workshop, we teach our students what they need to know and do in order to excel. Ideal for Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants who handle personal matters for her/his employer, Estate Managers, and this workshop is also appropriate for anyone in private service who is involved in personal work including nannies, household managers, and concierge staff.
Topics include: Communication, Organization, Problem-Solving, Travel & Event Planning, and Career Management. There is a 3-hour technology segment taught by Master teacher Vickie Sokol Evans which includes tips for assistants in: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Social Media and Privacy.
Every student receives a copy of the best-selling book “Be the Ultimate Assistant” by Bonnie Low-Kramen and additional materials created specifically for the workshop. These include; check-lists, forms, and relevant articles.
3. What makes your training unique?
Personal Assistants have been winging it for too long without any formal training to learn how to do their job. This is the workshop I wished had existed when I first started my career 25 years ago as the Personal Assistant to Oscar-winning actress Olympia Dukakis. I designed the workshop to provide solid information for every aspect of the work including computer technology which has become increasingly more important with every passing month.
The 3-hour technology segment is taught by Vickie Sokol Evans who is a former personal assistant turned Microsoft Certified Trainer. Vickie understands the demands of the private service professional and develops educational sessions that are both relevant and practical. Together, Vickie and I teach both the soft and hard skills necessary to excel at this work. Nothing like this has ever existed before and we feel strongly that this training must be taken around the country so that assistants everywhere have access to it. We don’t want assistants to have to wing it anymore.
4. How long are the courses?
The workshop takes place over a Sat and Sun for a total of 15 hours – 7.5 hours each day.
5. How frequently are the programs run?
Once a month in a different city. Upcoming dates for the spring of 2013 include: April 27-28 in New York City; May 18-19 in Toronto and June 8-9 in Dallas. Please see our website for more upcoming workshops. http://www.bonnielowkramen.com/
6. Do you have an online or correspondence courses?
We run a one-day, 7 hour Virtual Class conducted in real-time over GoToMeeting. The material is the same as the weekend class. The main difference is that the technology portion is taught via recorded webinars.
Vickie offers live and on-demand webinars, such as the most recent Excel 2011 for Mac Webinar Series specifically for Private Service Professionals via her website www.redcapeco.com
7. What are the requirements to attend your school?
The requirement to attend our training classes is a sincere desire to learn and a willingness to participate.
8. Who is your ideal student?
Our ideal student is a Personal Assistant or Executive Assistant who has been working for several years and is looking to raise their own bar of excellence in order to make themselves even more marketable.
9. Do you offer placement assistance to your graduates? What is your placement rate?
We assist our students in finding work through referrals to recruiters and contacts. There is no additional fee for this coaching.
10. Do you belong to any professional associations?
Bonnie is a Rutgers University graduate and a co-founder of New York Celebrity Assistants (NYCA), International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) and of the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA.) Vickie graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and has been teaching technology over 15 years. She is a member of the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA) and as a Microsoft Certified Trainer she is qualified to prepare others for their own technology certifications. Vickie is the author of the best-selling Tips in Minutes technology series on Kindle.
11. Are you accredited? If so, with what entity…
We are not affiliated with any other school or government agency. Vickie is accredited with Microsoft Learning and Certification.
12. How much does your program cost?
Our weekend workshops are $549 but Early Bird discounts are available as are discounts for members of NYCA, IAAP, DEMA, IAPSP, ANA, and other professional organizations.
13. Are financial aid, scholarships or payment plans available?
Payment plans are available upon request.
14. How can people contact you?
Our Education Spotlight is provided as a service to job seekers, and is not a statement of endorsement. All information is provided by the participating school or educator.
Would you like your agency featured in our Education Spotlight? There is no fee! Contact Donna Shannon at 720-341-8229 to find out how you can be included.