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Report from EUMA Training Day in Stockholm April 2016 - Part One

By Julia Schmidt


European Management Assistants (EUMA) is an international quality network for senior management support professionals. Our goal is to help you, Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants, Management Assistants, and many other admin professionals, to grow professionally, develop new skills and meet like-minded peers. 

During our Training Day in Stockholm last April 16th, we enjoyed the company of two excellent trainers.  In this report, I am telling some highlights from the workshop with Laura Belgrado: "Self-Development: The Wheel of Personal Success". These are my takeaways.

Laura Belgrado, expert trainer, motivational speaker, coach and executive assistant working at Mars, guided us through a journey about how to take responsibility in our career development process.

Laura’s definition of the Assistant today


We are so powerful!

We have to brainstorm exactly as our executives do.  We are exposed to many moving parts of the business. We are the beginning and the end in our teams.  We sense what is going on. 

Achievements and new skills

We have to re-write our CV each six months. We are acquiring new skills regularly.  We shall list our accomplishments and aim a long-term career path with growth opportunities. The road to success is always under constructions. A Long-term career path has to have the following ingredients:

  • Experience
  • Goals
  • Interests
  • Skills 
  • Education
  • Values

 Think further!

A positive mental picture

Thinking out of the box and understanding the obstacles is crucial to self-development.  Thinking positively and creating energy to you and people around you, will make you powerful. Creating a positive mental picture helps you clear your mind of any self-doubt.  

Demonstrate positive assertive behavior

Assertiveness is the courage to be ourselves and show the world our likes and dislikes, our thought, feelings, and shortcomings.  It is about communicating honestly with family, friends and colleagues.  When we become more assertive, we drop the masks and show our true selves.  We proclaim “This is who I am, this is what I feel, and these are my needs.

Unlock your confidence!

Embracing the challenge & Embracing change

“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” (Mary Engelbreit)

Success is also linked to the courage of taking risks. Take risks; do not be afraid! Show the world that you can do!  Embrace the challenge of finding new ways to work. Embrace the challenge of learning new skills and creating more value for your organization.

If you want to go somewhere as an assistant, you have to be prepared, take ownership and take initiatives. You have to evaluate what is working, not working, and what can be improved.  Your self-development is your responsibility.  If you do not take responsibility for your development, no one will do it.

A team exercise 


Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, focus on your strengths!

Some tips from Laura Belgrado about taking ownership

  • Be engaged in projects
  • Be up to date with what your Company is doing
  • Know your team
  • Embrace feedback
  • Create mentorship programs
  • Mentor other assistants
  • Read books and watch videos about coaching
  • Meet up your people to learn from them


Thank you Laura for a great training day! 


About Julia: Julia Schmidt is Executive Assistant and National Chairman of EUMA Norway.  Julia is an enthusiastic EUMA-member. She wants to bring EUMA – European Management Assistants to YOU and create sharing & learning platforms.