A Philippines-based virtual assistant was invited to New York by a Zuckerberg-funded startup. Here’s what happened.
What if someone you’d only knew through a computer completely changed your life?
Here at Prialto, where we work with a globally distributed workforce, it’s what we aim to do every day as we support high-achieving executives and entrepreneurs, but recently, something incredible happened for one of our PAs (Productivity Assistant).
Today, we wanted to share their inspiring story, because it reflects exactly the kind of company we are working to build here at Prialto — one where we are all truly building something wonderful together beyond borders.
Ron has been a Prialto PA for 4 years.
Based out of our Manila location in the Philippines, Ron’s been working with Andela for a year now. Prialto works with many fascinating companies, but Andela is special.
Andela invests in Africa’s most talented developers and integrates them into the world’s best tech companies. A Chan Zuckerberg Initiative funded company, Andela has been successfully bridging the divide between the U.S and African tech sectors under the premise that brilliance is evenly distributed but opportunity is not. Today, Andela has built one of the most selective engineering institutions in the world, with headquarters in Lagos, Nairobi, and NYC.
And that growth is exactly why their CEO, Jeremy Johnson, needed some administrative backup.
Not every assistant is cut out to support a CEO, just like not every executive is suitable to become a Prialto Member. But for Ron, an experienced and dependable PA, taking on Andela as his Member really helped him use and develop his skills in a whole new way.
“I was nervous when I was getting started, but on my first day, a note went out to the entire company about me, welcoming me to the team. Soon, my inbox was filled with friendly responses from everyone at Andela. I was overwhelmed by the response from the team, and it made me feel welcome. I began to receive scheduling requests, and I was very happy they already recognized me as Jeremy’s executive assistant.”
Andela was not only great at welcoming Ron, but they were great about following our processes, from onboarding to using our Prialto Daily Review. They came in trusting us as the experts, and as such, we were able to deliver our best practices from day one. In turn, this made working with Ron easy for the team at Andela, and they continued to grow their working relationship with him, giving him more and more responsibility.
“A few months after I started, a big box arrived on my desk, and I wondered where it came from. When I saw everyone’s names from Andela on it, I got excited, and my coworkers were all excited, too. And inside the box was Andela swag! It was their way of informing me, I was part of the team now.”
Starting by supporting Jeremy, Ron began to handle all of his scheduling, and it wasn’t long before he was handling the scheduling for other executives at Andela, too.
Justin, Andela’s Chief of Staff, started doing weekly one-on-one meeting with Ron. After being nervous about the first session, Ron realized the meetings were important to stay on track. It was an opportunity for him to expand the relationship with the team at Andela and stay on top of Jeremy’s schedule so he could continue to adapt quickly.
Soon after, Ron noticed no one was seemed to be in charge of Jeremy’s expense reporting. When Ron realized no one on their team was handling it, he volunteered to manage it and soon was handling even more responsibilities.
What Ron couldn’t have expected was how much everyone at Andela was paying attention.
A few weeks ago, our CEO Eric wrote a letter to our office in Manila, sharing the news — a request from Andela for Ron to fly from the Philipines to New York to participate in a special training with the rest of the Andela team.
We went ahead and recorded his reaction to the letter being read aloud for you here.
We can’t express how meaningful experience has been for both Ron and Prialto. Andela’s staff is in the business of making dreams come true, and they truly did for Ron. Back here at HQ, we’re thrilled to be the facilitators of great work and great relationships, and we hope to have the opportunity to connect more talented virtual assistants with companies like Andela.
When asked about what working with Andela was like for him, Ron had this to say.
“I’ve learned a lot from all of them. If I become a manager someday, I want to be like them. They are leaders, not managers. Leadership is about getting people to understand and believe in your visions and achieve your goals. Anyone can be a manager. Not everyone is capable of being a leader.”
We’ll check back in with Ron when he’s back from New York to let you know how it went. In the meantime, if you’d like someone as dedicated as Ron on your team, click here.