1. How did I know about IMA?
That is quite a long story and I’ll try to make it as short as possible. I was working in Germany and member of a German association. One evening, a member of EAPS (European Association of Professional Secretaries) presented the association during a conference and I thought…” that’s what I need!” I joined immediately. That was in 1988! In the same year I attended my first AGM in Turku (Finland).
When I moved to Madrid in 1997, Spain had a local group, small, although more-or-less active. But then, for reasons I don’t know, the committee had internal problems and the group, all of a sudden, disappeared. I joined EAPS Germany again as a “distant” member. During a conference I met Glòria and we decided that the Spanish group, by then called EUMA (European Management Assistants) should “rise from the dead”, and that’s what we did…successfully!
2.Why did I join a professional association?
It is a great opportunity to meet people from other countries working in different kind of businesses but having the same professional difficulties. To be able to attend conferences, workshops, round table discussions, etc.
3.How did the group evolve?
I think that the Spanish group evolved in a fantastic way. All the members of the different National Committees I have known and know are doing a great job and have achieved a lot. They believe in what they are doing and that is very important. We are on the right track! Let’s just continue like that!
4.How can IMA help?
IMA can help professionals to become more efficient in their daily routine by providing respective tools, giving new ideas. All the workshops and conferences we attend give us new input, a new view of problems which after that do not seem a problem anymore.
1. How did you know about IMA?
We will have to move back to 2003. My wish was belonging to a European network of professional assistants, as all the professional associations I knew were run on a regional basis only. While attending a Congress in Barcelona, I happened to meet Rose Marie Esser, who was at the time trying to restart the EUMA Spain group. Honestly, my intention was to join a group that was already running but… I like challenges, so I decided to help Rose Marie in bringing EUMA Span back to life!!
2. Why did you decide to join this network and create a group in Spain?
I strongly believed that Spain needed to be part of an international network of management assistants. As said, the EUMA Spain branch did not exist at the time; therefore, I initially joined as an individual member linked to the European Committee. In the beginning of 2005, together with Rose Marie, we started the search of new colleagues in Spain willing to join us, with the idea of building up a Spanish branch eventually. It was really difficult to have new people on board, as we only were 4-5 people and that did not sound appealing for others to join. It was not until 2008 that we managed to have the minimum number required to present a project to the European Committee. EUMA Spain was finally ratified by the rest of EUMA countries in the AGM held in Berlin in October 2008.
3. How has the role of the Management Support Professionals evolved since you established the group in Spain?
I have been in the business for the last 30 years, and therefore I have witnessed many changes, especially with regards to technology!! Middle managers started to decrease in companies, which was an opportunity for our role, as they were demanding us more seniority. This was positive because we had the required skills and therefore were able to gain visibility within the companies. We started to be seen as an essential part of the management team. In the last few years we have been facing a new challenge: new devices and apps can be seen as a threat. Instead, we have to see them as our allies in today’s management environment.
4. How can IMA help its members in their professional careers?
As members of IMA we can be part of this amazing global community of highly skilled professionals. IMA provides up-to-date training and great networking opportunities, both in each country and globally during our international meetings.