Interviews

Sarah Stennett

Sarah Stennett is the Co-Founder and C.E.O. of First Access Entertainment; an artist management and branding company operating within the music and entertainment industry. Sarah has launched the careers of many successful international artists including Sugababes, Jessie J, Rita Ora and Iggy Azalea. In 2015, Sarah won the MUSEXPO International Music Industry Award for Best Artist Manager. Sarah lives in London with her husband and 3 children.

Is your PA an ambassador for you and your office?

Absolutely – communication, presentation and a positive outlook are incredibly important to me. My PA will be liaising with a wide variety of contacts from budding musicians and managers to CEO’s and global business leaders. My PA needs to be able to read situations and reflect the tone accordingly.

What key attributes, traits and skills do you look for above all others when employing a PA?

Highly organised, confident and pro-active. A positive mental outlook is essential. I want someone to find solutions to problems not just tell me there is a problem. There is always a solution.

What educational qualifications do you insist on / Do you require your PA to have a degree?

Yes – business management or law are useful but not essential. Someone who has recently joined us has a degree from Cambridge in social anthropology and is excellent.

A positive mental outlook is essential…there is always a solution. 

What makes a great PA over a competent PA?

Initiative, confidence and intelligence (intelligence is not always academic). Never ‘assume’- double check.

Would you agree that chemistry is the key ‘ingredient’ for a successful long term working relationship between a PA & Principal?

Naturally there must be a positive ‘chemistry’ for the relationship to develop and continue long term and it is a very intimate relationship however, I’m not sure it’s the ‘key ingredient’. I have great chemistry with a lot of my friends but that doesn’t mean they would make a great PA! The key ingredient is ‘Personal Assistance’ of the highest quality.

I have great chemistry with a lot of my friends but that doesn’t mean they would make a great PA! The key ingredient is ‘Personal Assistance’ of the highest quality.

Do you empower your PA by allowing autonomous decision making in any key areas?

Yes – once my PA knows me and my business landscape they will have to make daily decisions regarding my time management, meeting requests and other areas. I am looking for someone to be pro-active, initiate new systems where needed and advise me on how to manage my time more effectively.

I am looking for someone to be pro-active, initiate new systems where needed and advise me on how to manage my time more effectively.

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