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How to match your ambition as a PA with Mimi Coffait

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As part of our #MatchYourAmbition series, we spoke to Mimi Coffait who we placed as Assistant to Director of Academy at Manchester City. She tells us her story about her career and offers advice for aspiring PAs.

How did your career path change into becoming a PA?

From leaving university I realised I wanted a job that would engage me and that I’d have to work hard for. Working in football is not like any other industry because of the way people relate to sport, the events and the very nature of it. These were all things I wanted to be involved with.

I first started in Marketing, where I was involved in diverse projects from across the business and worked with people from different departments and professional backgrounds. I’ve always wanted to be at the centre of the business and help to drive the organisation forward.

I’m committed to constantly pushing and developing myself, part of that is being around people and organisations that are the best at what they do. Although my job roles have varied, the things I’ve enjoyed the most and want to continue doing is helping people; whether that’s through taking on organisational elements, supporting them in meeting marketing objectives or; working behind the scenes to help realise a creative vision.

As an assistant to someone who is high profile and within the leadership team, I get a unique insight to every aspect of the business. I feel lucky to be able to support some incredibly talented staff and players; many of whom are among the absolute best at what they do.


"We spend a lot of our lives at work so it’s important to do something you're passionate about!"


What three things excite you about your role?

  1. One of my favourite things about my role is that no two days are the same. I’m constantly meeting new people, learning new game rules and dealing with projects and hosting with an assorted range of objectives. Anyone can come through the door that day and there are lots of different areas of the business, so it’s important for me to know who people are. Whether it is the parents, the players or the agents.
     
  2. I love working in the sports industry. People are so passionate and focused and everything revolves around teamwork. The end goal of getting players through the Academy as well rounded individuals with a host of skills and memories is something that absolutely relies on everyone around them working together and playing their part.
     
  3. It’s such a privilege to work and interact with everyone across the Academy. As an assistant to the Director, I touch many different parts of the business and I get to build relationships with other staff in a very unique way, outside of the demands of their day to day areas of responsibility. I always enjoy it when people pop into my office to ask me something. It’s just nice to check in with everything that’s going on.
     

How do you ensure that that the aims and goals of the club’s Academy are being reached?

Picking up the details: I am working for a member of the senior leadership team, who is obviously at a high strategic level-so it’s up to me to make sure I’m dotting all the i’s, crossing all the t’s and that everything’s in place.

Personal responsibility: I’m left to manage my own work load to make sure everything gets done and I think it helps having that initiative to do well within your role. Everyone within the Academy and the club are passionate about what they do, so having those kinds of people is a huge drive and you can get a lot done.

Maintain your work/ life balance: The City Football Academy is a fantastic facility. They look after the environment, there’s only healthy food available in the canteen, there’s activities and also access to an amazing gym.

Being on board with the wider vision: This is relevant across the Academy: being on board with the wider vision and being able to focus it. This involves having an eye for organisational details, how we are with people and how we represent ourselves in relation to our vision.

What advice would you give aspiring PAs who are just starting out in their careers?

Keep your mind open – always be aware of everything that is happening around you and always be willing to learn. In doing that you will make sure you are enjoying every experience, equipping yourself to seeing issues before they develop, to make things better or to be able to step up and make your role as fulfilling as possible.We spend a lot of our lives at work so it’s important to do something you're passionate about!

What role did Hays play in placing you?

I was already aware of Hays from a previous role in the motor industry so they were familiar with me. This time when I approached Hays, I was quite specific, particularly because I knew about their partnership with Manchester City and I knew what I wanted. I gave Hays a very detailed brief that I wanted to be a PA to someone at the club and that’s exactly what I got - it ticked every single box and was perfect.

What are the next steps for your career?

Who knows what the future will hold! Right now I’m focused on fully finding my feet in this role, helping this organisation to continually raise the bar. There is plenty going on and I am still learning new things every day. Being align with the values here allows me to step up and get involved with whatever is needed here at Manchester City.

To find out more, or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

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