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ACEA Alumni Interview: Diana Brandl

The Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA blog is BACK!

BMTG (UK) Ltd are relaunching the ACEA Blog with a series of interviews from past delegates of the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant program. We hope that you enjoy these short but informative interviews.

We were especially delighted that Diana Brandl, our 1000th delegate, agreed to be our first interviewee of what will hopefully become a regular feature.

diana brandl_2018

Diana Brandl

Diana is a freelance assistant and author of the blog The Socialista Projects

Hi Diana, please tell us a bit about yourself?

Thank you for asking me to do this interview.

I hold a Degree in International Administration and Management, specializing in Office Management. Throughout my career, I have been working for C-Level Executives within global corporations such as Sony.  I also have a strong background in Communications and consider myself an active networker.

I joined the professional network IMA (International Management Assistants) in 2006, and have been serving IMA Germany as a Board Member and Regional Head of IMA Berlin. I continuously support the role of the management assistant by speaking at international events, coaching and mentoring admins around the world and publishing various articles in Germany and abroad.

I also write my own blog on Facebook called The Socialista Projects which is followed by management assistants from all over the world.

I live in the suburbs of Berlin with my husband and our little dog. I enjoy travelling and meeting new people and cultures.

  1. Where and when did you attend your ACEA® training and who delivered it?

I attended the class in Dubai in October 2017. Ian Shipley was my trainer and I enjoyed how he delivered the course.

What a joy it was meeting him again in Germany last year at ACEA Berlin.

  1. There are many training courses available for Executive Assistants. Why did you choose ACEA in particular?

I have been following ACEA for a while as I am an active reader of Executive Secretary Magazine and the communication around it on Social Media. But then the unexpected happened: I won the place as the 1000thdelegate. I still remember when Christian Russell called me. First, I thought it was a fake call – I simply did not believe how lucky I was. But it was for real and I got to decide which location I will go to for the course.

What a treat!

I think ACEA combines all the content that management assistants need to have in their skillset especially as we talk more and more about operational and strategic skills. ACEA offers a wonderful platform to deep dive into these topics and in parallel network and meet your peers.

  1. What were your favourite subjects covered and why?

People Management & Leadership was my favourite topic. At that time, I was leading a team of three Office Managers and was keen to implement all my take aways in my daily work with them. And I did right away which felt wonderful.

  1. Has achieving ACEA® helped you personally or in your career?

ACEA is a wonderful certification and it helps you getting recognized in the international environment of our admin industry. I can get many certifications in Germany that are only valid in Germany – ACEA is international and so is the reputation.

diana brandl

Diana receiving her 1000th ACEA certificate from

Richard Arnott at Executive Secretary Live in the Watergate Hotel, Washington D.C.

  1. Was there anything in particular that you remember returning to the office with and implementing?

I actually came back organizing a team building workshop and created a strategy discussion with my team of three Office Managers which helped us forming our vision, mission and mantra. It was a lot of fun and the output I got from ACEA helped me to prepare this properly.

  1. If a friend or colleague asked you to convince them to attend ACEA® what would you say to them?

I have already convinced quite a few people from my network to join ACEA and even helped bringing a class to Berlin in 2018. Thanks again to Richard and the team for even asking me to come to the training in Berlin and talk about my story as an alumnus. I really enjoyed meeting the group. Another German EA from my network will take the class this year in London, so ACEA is all over my network which is fantastic.

The ACEA training was very inspirational, energising, bringing lots of ideas, with both substantial and in-depth knowledge together with case studies, learning from experience and being fully practice-oriented. Well-balanced composition of participants, which contributed to interesting and focused discussions and exchanges. There was also room for networking and getting to know the group better during breaks and lunch. Thank you to everyone involved and for making me feel special as the 1000th student.

Our thanks to Diana for taking the time to respond to our questions. Should you have any questions about the Advanced Certificate for the Executive Assistant: ACEA please check our website

In 2019 ACEA is running in London, Nairobi, Dubai, Mumbai, Mauritius, Toronto, Washington DC, Frankfurt, São Paulo, Wellington, Singapore, Sydney and Cape Town  with more dates being added at regular intervals.

ACEA is also regularly delivered on-site/in-house around the world. Contact us for more information.

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