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Executive Secretarial Studies - Overview


Executive secretarial studies programs prepare people to provide administrative duties to top managers and executives. Students learn the basics of office management and organization. They also study business law and communications. In addition, they learn how to organize and take minutes for meetings and conferences.

Even if the workplace is dramatically different, working as an administrative assistant or secretary usually entails many of the same duties. Letters must be typed, copied, filed, and sent. Files and records must be maintained in order and important documents must be kept confidential. Meetings must be scheduled and payments must be processed.

While this is true, working as an executive secretary does have some differences. This position means that you are working for a top manager or executive in a company, and therefore your support duties are expanded. There is usually more sensitive information to handle, including confidential files and public relations issues. Executive secretaries need to be trustworthy and even able to handle the media on occasion.

As an executive secretary, you also do a lot of organizing. Travel must be arranged, often to several destinations in a row. Conferences and meetings must be set up, and minutes must be taken during long meetings. In addition, there are the other common duties of secretaries, from keeping the copy machine running to taking messages.

Sound like a lot? It is. That's why several schools offer one- and two-year programs in executive secretarial studies. In most cases, you earn a certificate or an associate degree.

Your course work includes business law, professional communications, and meeting recording. You also study scheduling and travel management, as well as accounting and filing systems. In addition, you may study supervisory skills. This is because executive secretaries may oversee several assistants who help manage the office and administrative duties.

Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
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