How One Admin Expert Thrives in the Chaos of Venture Capital

The title ‘Superwoman’ (or ‘Superman’) is not used enough in the corporate world. We usually hear Office Manager, Executive Assistant, Office Admin, or other mundane titles. It seems old-school and totally boring—not to mention inaccurate. This being said, I prefer the ‘Superwoman’ title—because admin experts really do it ALL!

I moved from Portland a few years back to start working as the executive assistant to a prominent Angel Investor. He literally handled everything by himself to grow the firm, get organized, and focus on the firm’s portfolio companies. Then I was hired; I was the first come aboard.

Two and a half years later, we had grown the firm to five, which was no small feat. How, do you ask? We did not limit ourselves to titles, we ALL did what was needed in order to succeed. No task was too big or small for anyone in our firm—and egos never had a place at the table.

Today is a great example of that mentality. It is the 4th of July, and I’m typing this on the plane in route to visit family. I was attempting to find some witty words when an email came through, asking to wire funds tomorrow (our day off).

Ok, hold on blog, let me go set up this wire. Back to writing. Ding. Another email. It’s the car service confirmation for my boss’s ride to the airport tomorrow. Crap, it’s for the wrong day. Again, on hold, let me send an email to modify the car request.

Back to writing. Ding. It’s someone in Helsinki, Finland, asking for a breakfast meeting on Monday somewhere in the city. Ok, booked. Hope the breakfast spot is suitable. Back to the blog. Ding. “Hey Ashley, I know it’s the 4th of July, but … ”

I sip my merlot, wondering why everyone isn’t at the lake or a barbecue, but then I remember: WE NEVER STOP.

My job never stops. I’m always on the clock and I love it. I worked until 3 AM before this flight, trying to finish stuff before I shook town. Why? Not because I had to, because I wanted to—because I feel like this is MY firm too. I invest in it and it invests in me.

I didn’t need to send our Portfolio Summit rental request bid or finish the master partner firm spreadsheet, or get a head start on menu selections. I did it because I love my job. I love that I am an accountant, an event planner, a scheduler, a lunch grabber, a relationship manager, a travel agent, the “closer” and even at times, a hand holder. I love it all.

I love being the office Superwoman, no job is too big or too small and I never ever say that something isn’t up to me—because it is. If I wasn’t armed and ready, who else would be?

Ashley Cravens

Ashley Cravens manages the operations of the office, plans special events, assists in deal flow, and supports the executive staff. Also known as SoftTech’s Superwoman. She has over 13 years of experience in the financial industry before joining the world of Venture Capital.

Comments

  1. Meg Strauss
     

    “accountant, an event planner, a scheduler, a lunch grabber, a relationship manager, a travel agent, the “closer” and even at times, a hand holder” Nailed it! Great post. Thank you for making me smile. ;)

  2. Beth Hoss
     

    Having the confidence, support and appreciation of those we support is definitely fuel for the superwoman’s awesome administrative powers!

  3. Sandra B.
     

    Hey Superfriend Ashley! It sounds like you have an awesome job where you are appreciated and valued. Keep up the great work!!

  4. Sandra B.
     

    It sounds like you are a valued part of your office team and as an IAAP member, I am happy to read about your experience. Rock on Super Ashley!

  5. Wendy
     

    I agree, after working in this field for over 25 years, superwoman is the right word because I do it all from, Office Manager, Executive Assistant, Admin. Assistant, Branch Policy Assistant, Legal Assistant, Reservation Associate and the list goes on. I have worked in all different fields and organizations. All I need now is my superwoman cape. :)

  6. Joanna Hodges, CAP-OM
     

    I so agree with you! I too love being Superwoman and always there to take care of my team. It’s a hard concept to explain to people who don’t feel the same way or belong to a team that treats them like a valuable team member.

  7. Katherine Trigg, CAP-OM
     

    It’s amazing how life transitions us. I have been superwoman. i’ve done it all, no job too largeor small – I can do it all. However, as I’m becoming older (mid 40’s) and my priorities are changing, I find that I no longer have that burning desire to be superwoman. I think I’m going to enjoy some time being Robin and let Batman have the limelight.

    1. Myshel Hancock (@Myshel_Hancock)
       

      Wow – this so captures how I feel about my role in EVERY company! I always wear a lot of hats and I’m never the one to say “it’s not my job” – if I can pitch in and help out you better believe I will be there – with my cape on!

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