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Caretaker of the minutiae
Yellowknifer speaks with the mayor's assistant to honour Administrative Professionals' Day

Elaine Anselmi
Northern News Services
Wednesday, April 27, 2016

As the executive assistant to both the mayor of Yellowknife and senior administrative officer, Lauren Alexandra says she's working for people at the top of their game, so in turn, she has to be at the top of hers.

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Lauren Alexandra, the City of Yellowknife's senior executive assistant, spoke with Yellowknifer for Administrative Professionals' Day. - Elaine Anselmi/NNSL photo

"They're people at the forefront of their jobs, so you have to rise to that yourself to be able support them effectively," she said.

"You think, what can I do to support them? What can I do differently or better to support them and ultimately support the city?"

On April 27, Administrative Professionals' Day is marked across Canada, and from Mayor Mark Heyck's perspective, it's certainly a role worth celebrating.

"Lauren is an amazing resource for the city and support for my office," he stated in an e-mail response. "She's often the first point of contact for residents who have questions or concerns about city facilities and operations and she's always very courteous and extremely helpful. I couldn't do my job without her assistance and excellent work."

Originally from Barrie, Ont., Alexandra moved to Yellowknife more than two years ago to work as an executive assistant at the city and was promoted to her current role of senior executive assistant about a year ago.

With a bachelor of business administration through Laurentian University, Alexandra says her job touches on various years of education and work experience, from customer service, to industry and corporate experience, to a previous role in city government in her hometown.

"It just kind of all came together and I can genuinely say I love my job," she said.

"I come to work and I'm engaged and I'm on."

But that doesn't mean the job is any sort of cakewalk.

"Every day, I go in with the intention of following a work list - everyone has those things they need to get done that day. It's usually out the window by 9 a.m.," she says with a laugh.

"In any kind of administrative role, you have your regular day-to-day activities and this is no exception but you need to have the structure and organization to carry out daily and weekly activities but also the flexibility and adaptability to address the things that come up last minute or need to be addressed by the hour or end of the day."

That being said, she emphasizes that she does feel her work and role is well-recognized by her peers and superiors.

Working at the municipal level, Alexandra says you really get to see the impact your work has on people's lives.

"I think what the city does is tangible for people and tangible for residents. I like being able to support that," she said.

"I'm working with the mayor, I really respect his office and what he represents and his position, so I feel really privileged to be able to support that."

As well as working with city leaders, Alexandra manages other executive assistants at the city and says one of the perks of the job is being involved in so many different aspects of the city through administration.

"It's very engaging, you learn so much about the different facets of a municipality and how it runs," she says.

"Anyone in this kind of position, if you like what you're doing, you just appreciate the inner-workings of an organization and people rely on you to think about the small details, the minutiae.

"It's your job, the small details, but they contribute to the big picture."

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