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ACEA Alumni Interview: Kim McCartney, CAP, OM, ACEA

The ACEA Blog is back with our latest ACEA Alumni interview. Apologies for the hiatus over the summer.

Our interviewee this month is Kim McCartney who is a Senior Executive Assistant at Booz Allen Hamilton.

ACEA has been delivered on-site to over 60 Booz Allen Hamilton Executive Assistants with more scheduled for 2020.


Hi Kim,

Please tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a Senior Executive Assistant for Booz Allen Hamilton, INC in the Washington DC area. I have been with the firm for 12 years and have been an EA for almost 20 years. My current executive leads the Transportation and Infrastructure business within the firm. I am engaged in our business at all levels from reporting to presentations to actively launching projects that are priorities for our group. I live in Maryland with my husband and we have 2 grown children.

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

I attended ACEA in New York in 2015 and the course was delivered by Richard Arnott

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

I was impressed with the course description when I read it. Most training courses for EAs tend to be focused on time management, Outlook skills, gatekeeping, etc. I really found a tremendous amount of value in the critical thinking skills the sessions required, along with the shaping around vision versus mission within an organization.

What were your favourite subjects covered and why?

My favorite subjects were Aligning Operations to Strategy and Exploring linkages between strategy, project and operations. Both of these covered areas that the EAs are generally not included in within an organization. The scope of strategy within any major establishment is vast but having this explained on a more general level, I was able to go back to my Executive and discuss what our overall strategy is, how to align our projects to that strategy and how it fits into our business as a whole.

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

My Vice President constantly refers to me as his “game-changer” and “force multiplier”. I believe this is a direct result of ACEA – the training and the exam. It has opened my thinking up to a broader understanding of my role within the business and helped me to see myself as a Strategic Partner rather than an Assistant.

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

Honestly, all of the strategic partnership thinking! It has changed how my Vice President and I work together.

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

I have often recommended ACEA to my colleagues. In fact, we have scheduled multiple sessions internal to Booz Allen only! When the announcements come out and interested staff reach to me for information, I always tell them that it’s the best EA training I’ve ever been through, because it doesn’t focus on your role as an EA. It focuses on your role as a Strategic Partner to your Executive. A real force in the business.

Thanks Kim, much appreciated.

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