Iain Walker-Welsh is one of a kind. He’s the only male who has signed up as a member of Aberdeen PA, the new on-line resource which puts PAs, key bookers and businesses in touch with each other in this area.
He wasn’t particularly surprised to find himself in a virtural world along with some 400 women.
“More men are becoming PAs generally but I’m still a bit of a novelty in Aberdeen,” he said. “Quite a lot of celebrities are taking on male PAs but that’s not something I’m aspiring to.” Iain never really saw himself as a trailblazer and certainly doesn’t think of himself as a token man in a woman’s world. Almost by default he has stumbled into a job he loves and wouldn’t change. Amongst other things he’s the public face of behavioural safety coaching company Optimus Seventh Generation in Westill, coaching as he is the first people anybody entering the building will meet. “But don’t call me a receptionist,” he said. “My official title is office administrator but my job description is still a work in progress because every day is different and my role is still developing.”
Iain joined Optimus from North-East Enterprise Trust in July when the company moved into new premises. Previously they had lease space in the enterprise trust’s business centre where Iain was the property manager.
“They asked me to move with them and it took me about eight weeks to make the decision because I enjoyed that job so much but I liked the idea of being in at the start of something new, of being able to shape the facility and put my own mark on it,” he explained. “When I left school I trained in catering and hospitality. I’ve also tired car rental and insurance and I remember thinking on my first day in this kind of work thinking ‘Oh my God, What have I done?’ I think I’m very well qualified for what I’m doing now with no formal qualifications for it. It’s not a job for a shrinking violet.”
Just weeks after joining Optimus, he heard about Aberdeen PA through a former colleague on a social networking site. “So I had a look and was so impressed I joined up as a PA and the business has also joined,” he said. “I like going on to the PA Forum page and contributing to whatever people are saying. Sometimes they are discussing how they do things and I add how I go about the same task, or if someone is looking for advice or a supplier and I can help, I will.”
Iain is so enthusiastic about Aberdeen PA he has organised a visit to Optimus for fellow PAs. It will take the form of a pampering and spa afternoon, along with a tour of this building and information about what Optimus can offer their companies.
“I haven’t met any of the PAs yet so it will be nice to make the contact. I expect I could have organised something like this without the website but it would have taken so much longer.”
Rosemary McLennan who launched Aberdeen PA last month was delighted to sign up her first male PA and to find him so enthusiastic. “What Iain is doing is exactly what I had hoped for from the website. It’s all about PAs and businesses helping each other by being in direct contact.”