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An Interview with Alanna Disque, Executive Assistant, West Monroe and Winner of the 2022 Dallas Fort Worth Admin Awards Spirit Award


What is your current job title and company? What does your company do?
I am an Executive Assistant at West Monroe, a digital services firm. Our motto is ‘Don’t do digital, be digital!’ West Monroe partners with Fortune 1000 companies in multiple industries such as financial services, private equity, consumer & industrial products, energy & utilities, healthcare & life sciences, and high-tech & software to help them digitize their operations. We have a unique approach to doing this by working in multi-disciplinary teams that blend the traditional management consulting with digital design and product engineering. I am based in our Dallas office, run by our office leader, Adam Gersting.

What’s your favorite tool, tip, or hack?
The Outlook to-do bar.  A must for every assistant. Dragging an email directly from your inbox into your to-do list allows for the easiest way to never forget a single thing. Recurring to-do items, looking ahead for the day, week or month, color coding, task sharing, follow-up flags… if you do not use the Outlook to-do Bar now, you must try it. It will change the way you work.

What’s your favorite thing your Executive does?
I have the good fortune of having an executive who is also my mentor. He is also my Admin Awards Spirit Award nominator, so there might be a tie for my favorite thing my executive has done! In our office, Adam makes a conscious effort to meet with every employee at every level and my favorite thing that Adam does in those meetings is when he asks you, “how can I accelerate you?” It is a question that will always leave you scanning your goals and your accomplishments to see what’s next for you. It’s very inspiring!

What advice would you give an Executive about working with an administrative partner?
As Adam said in my Admin Awards nomination, when creating the working relationship with your executive assistant, be sure to create an executive who assists you. That is the relationship that Adam has developed with me, and I cannot tell you how important that has been in my career at West Monroe.

How do you avoid burn out?
To avoid burn out you must reach out! The best way to avoid the feeling of being burned out is to light the fire within and keep yourself motivated. For me, that comes from reaching out to others to see how they’re doing and seeing what you can do to help them. Friends, family, coworkers, volunteering… helping others will always rekindle the fire within to help you burn bright!

How has working remote impacted your role as an Admin?
Just when it seemed impossible to continue work as we knew it, a space was created for more people to come together with EA’s now working in a remote world. People from different business units and cities started meeting more often, and consequently, we have now developed stronger relationships as a company. I now have stronger relationships with my coworkers, team members, and our senior leadership team. I feel that remote work has only enhanced my capabilities as an EA. It’s like Audrey Hepburn always said, “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m possible!”

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The Backbone Blog is all about the modern Admin. Created by the Admin Awards, Backbone is all about leveling up and inspiring Admins to do their very best work. It’s also about overcoming outdated stereo-types about the profession and those that serve in it. We work hard to tell the stories of innovators, change agents, thought leaders and pioneers who area making a phenomenal impact to their organizations and profession and inspire others in the process. We believe the best ideas and insights come from Administrative Professionals themselves, so that’s what you’ll find here.