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What does a Management Assistant do?

By Florence J. Tipton
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A management assistant, also known as an executive secretary, provides assistance to one or more senior level executives. This person may support the president, CEO, vice president, or department head within an organization. Duties might be related to administrative functions specific to the needs of the executive and organization. Work responsibilities for a person in this position typically go beyond general clerical functions to involve complex tasks such as analytical research and report preparation. A management assistant may also supervise other clerical staff at the organization.

A person employed in this position is responsible for handling the administrative functions for either one or multiple senior executives. The administrative responsibilities that the executive is responsible for within the organization typically are assigned to this person. Much of this administrative support includes preparing memos, emails, and other correspondence on the executive’s behalf. This person maintains a filing system, answers telephone calls, and routes messages. Additional duties may involve sorting mail and faxes.

Performing responsibilities effectively may require having good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. The executive secretary might be responsible for organizing meetings and conferences. This may also require coordinating multiple schedules and handling all of the details pertaining to the meeting. Generally, preparing the agenda and ordering meals or refreshments are also part of this person’s responsibilities.

When the executive has to travel for business, the management assistant is usually responsible for securing airline, car rental, and hotel arrangements as needed. He will often maintain the executive’s calendar and keep the executive aware of daily and upcoming appointments, meetings, and company-related travel. He will typically prepare presentation materials for his boss that are associated with the meetings.

Much of the administrative tasks assigned to the management assistant depend on what the executive is willing to delegate. This could lead to more complex tasks beyond the basic clerical duties that are typically required for someone who assists another person. An example of these complex tasks is preparing and distributing reports.

Knowledge of computer applications with intermediate or advanced skills is typically essential to perform tasks with minimum supervision. The management assistant might also manage special projects related to the entire organization and maintain databases. Depending on the size of the company, HR generalist duties might also be part of his daily responsibilities.

Another responsibility for some management assistants may also involve supervising lower level clerical staff in the organization. This requires having leadership skills and management skills. It is possible that the assistant will have to plan, assign, and monitor the work flow of the clerical staff within the department. Along with supervising, the assistant is typically the go-to person for the daily office operations regarding office equipment or building maintenance issues.

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Discussion Comments

By Animandel — On Jan 23, 2014
I recently read where a CEO said that a secretary has a series of tasks and as he or she carries out those tasks, the job becomes routine. The CEO added that a management assistant does the tasks of the secretary and on top of those duties, anticipates the outcome of those tasks and learns how to manipulate them for a better outcome.

Sounds to me like management assistants take on more responsibility and are encouraged to take initiative to make the office and particular projects run more smoothly. There are particular courses designed for management assistants in addition to secretarial training.

By Sporkasia — On Jan 22, 2014

Is there specific training for a manager assistant or executive assistant beyond regular secretarial training?

By Drentel — On Jan 22, 2014

Being an executive assistant or providing management assistance requires much more knowledge than typing and making appointments. However, these two duties are often very important to the position.

Actually, I researched the position and found the skill most desired in a management assistant is the ability to coordinate appointments and set schedules. Managing office technology is also one of the top five desired skills.

By Animandel — On Jan 21, 2014

When you read the job description laid out in the article you can understand why the position title is no longer called simply a secretary. Though most secretaries do more than we traditionally think of them doing anyway. A secretary is often an assistant manager.

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