Executive Leadership Support Forum: Speaker Interview

Jennifer Peck
Executive Assistant to CMO & VP of Marketing

Jennifer Peck is an Executive Assistant at MailChimp overseeing the CMO and VP of Marketing’s day-to-day business management needs while increasing the organizational and administrative operational prowess of the marketing department as a whole. Jennifer has more than 12 years of experience being the right-hand to CEOs, Presidents, Chief Marketing Officers and COOs at various advertising agencies and marketing companies. Prior to joining MailChimp in 2017, Jennifer was the Director of Assistants at Droga5 where she grew her team from 8 to 17 assistants in two years and earned herself a position on the Executive Leadership Team.

Jennifer Peck will be one of the distinguished contributors at the Executive Leadership Support Forum: Atlanta on March 21-22, 2018.

Tell us about a career accomplishment of which you’re particularly proud.

While working at Droga5 in NYC as the Director of Assistants, I grew the admin team from 8 to 15 assistants in 2 years and also succeeded in my position to becoming a part of the Executive Leadership Team. It was a huge accomplishment to spearhead and own the growth of such a vital team in a company – having that backbone/right-hand to any successful senior leader is hugely important and it was amazing to see the growth of a group that can be easily seen as costly “overhead”. Being a part of the ELT was also very important, as it gave a voice to what assistants do and an advocate within the highest management team of the company, something admins very rarely get.

Looking back, what advice would you give yourself when you were first starting your career?

Being an assistant means your time is not your own – just accept it. Yes, you deserve to go to the doctor too, a vacation, a day without your phone just as you plan for others – and it’s ok, the world will not fall apart. When everyone needs you to do everything – and everyone will, remember that your boss and their priorities are your priorities – everything else is secondary. Don’t get upset about having to run to get coffee in the rain, eventually you’ll ask someone to do the same. It WILL be noticed when you put in extra effort, it will also be noticed when you don’t. Ask questions – don’t assume. If the answer is no, don’t leave it at that – make it more like “no, BUT WHAT I CAN DO IS _______.”

Are there any blogs, books, articles or online forums you recommend reading?

https://www.asaporg.com/ ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals) usually has great webinars and articles.

Harvard Business Review had an article years ago that I still read and I also make any new executive read when I begin support for them.

…and also for a pick-me-up on those occasional hard days, reading Richard Branson’s words about his assistant is gratifying.

How do you define success within your role as an executive assistant?

My success is my Executive’s success. My goal has always been to make a huge impact on the ROI (return on investment) of Senior Leaders. The people we support are the most ‘expensive’ generally speaking; so, if their time is spent focusing on what it should be and balanced well between business and personal – they are able to be the best version of themselves and be most financially valuable. Managing their business intake and ensuring they are supported both time-wise and mentally makes them more successful and better leaders, meaning I have a better boss and I’ve been able to increase their ROI/value to the company. Better bosses + more success = happier working environment. I take pride in that and it’s my value and success too!