Could you please tell us about yourself?
I was born near Frankfurt/Germany but live since 2008 in our wonderful capital Berlin together with my husband and our dog.
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, mid-size companies and startups. 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 acted as Board Member for Germany and as Head of Regional Group Berlin.
I continuously support the role of the management assistant by speaking at international events and publishing various articles in Germany and abroad. I also write my own blog and I run a podcast called The Future Assistant.
What is the vision and mission behind The Socialista Projects?
I created my blog on Facebook in 2016. The Socialista Projects however became so much more once I started my own business end of 2018.
Socialista has no political meaning, it describes me as a connector as I am a very social person and have a large international network that I keep introducing through my blog to my community. I run interviews, expert talks and much more. The Socialista Projects is my brand.
How do you evaluate the future workplace?
It is full of potential. Digitization, new work, AI and the future role of the management assistant are my signature topics when I give my keynotes and workshops. And I invite and motivate my delegates to embrace the change and become creative.
Covid brought us the boost for the above topics and we need to fully own them now. Many of you will keep working remotely, therefore it is essential to push the modern workplace and work with tools and apps that help us become more efficient. I still see assistants out there who never found the need for training themselves on tech but we have a total different situation now as the digital workplace is becoming the new normal and we all need to stay hungry for knowledge. Assistants are an integral part of the digital transformation.
After Covid-19 outbreak do you predict any changes in the business world related to our roles.
It is more important than ever to show that management assistants are relevant in every organization. Many assistants have lost their jobs already or will lose them probably. Those assistants who always thought self-promotion and personal branding was not relevant, need to step up specifically to showcase their skills. Times are over that we sit and wait until we receive a task from our managers, we need to grab opportunities and shape the future by performing as digital trend scouts, business partners, change agents, crisis managers and co-managers. Leadership skills therefore become more relevant than ever as we start discovering new roles and competencies.
What are your career goals?
I would love to continue the way I have been working in the past years, a mixture of online and live training. Looking back at three years of my role as a solopreneur, I am proud to say that I wrote two books, co-authored another book and spoke at events from Europe to the US. I work with incredible customers such as Microsoft, Procter&Gamble, Swiss television and teach at the Chamber of Commerce in Berlin. I have been nominated for the Digital Female Leader Award in Germany.
What more can I ask for?
However, I want to keep my commitment and deliver high-quality training to my delegates, stay close to the industry, and educate myself every single day.
We would like to get to know Diana better. What do you do in your spare time, what is your favourite activity, what are the things that make you laugh or sadden the most?
I am married. I found my sweetheart already in 1998 and we got married in 2004 in Mauritius. We renewed our vows just this year in Mexico. Right before Corona started…What a blessing we got to do this.
My husband Marcus and I live outside of Berlin with our little dog Phoebe. She is nearly 11 years old and we spoil her a lot.
I love to be outside in the nature or by the water in my spare time. We love travelling and have travelled the world together for the past years.I laugh a lot with my husband when we watch our dog or other funny things on TV. My little goddaughter Sarah who lives with my brother in Mexico is also a joy to watch. It also makes me sad at the same time that we are so many miles away from her. Especially in crisis times, family is important, and I would love to have them all around me if I could. I hope to travel the world again soon with another stop in Mexico.
What would you advice to the future assistants?
Find new opportunities that arise from Covid crises and re-discover your strength and skill set.
Assistants keep asking me in my workshops what specialties they should focus on and of course digitization is the number one. Become an expert in office 365, know the productivity tools that help you and your manager and find mentors who help you achieve these goals.
Assistants also need to start deep diving into more agile working environments and should get familiar with topics such as Design Thinking, Scrum, Lean Office, Kanban and much more. All starts with an agile mindset.
However, other essential fields are diversity and inclusion where I would love to see assistants taking a lead. Especially those who have networks within their organizations.
You see, the opportunities are out there, it is time to shape your own future, discuss your plans with your manager, focus and train yourself.
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