Executive Assistant to CEO - Exeter

Business Administration
Ref: 134 Date Posted: Wednesday 03 Aug 2022
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Executive Assistant to CEO, Exeter Science Park                                                                                                                                                                           

Role: Full Time – Maternity Cover

Location: Exeter, Devon

Salary: £26,000 – £30,000 per annum (depending on experience) + 8% Pension, salary sacrifice opportunities, 28 days annual leave + BH (FTE), discounted food & other benefits

The Company:

Exeter Science Park Ltd (ESPL) helps innovative STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) companies to deliver extraordinary growth. It is the result of a vision to develop a Science Park in Exeter to facilitate the growth of innovative, fast-growing STEMM companies that exploit world-class research, create high-quality jobs, attract and retain talent, and drive productivity and economic growth. ESPL’s shareholders are Devon County Council, East Devon District Council, Exeter City Council and the University of Exeter.

ESPL is just concluding its 2017-2022 ‘scale-up’ business plan which has seen the park grow threefold. It now owns and operates nearly 100k sqft of laboratory, office and community space and aims to maintain occupancy levels above 85% across the Science Park. Over the period it has insourced Science Park Centre operations, successfully concluded a land-swap, sold land for development to third parties, installed a COVID-19 analysis laboratory and maintained a COVID-19 secure site that has been operational from 1st August 2020. Meanwhile, individual companies are growing from hot-desk to offices in the Science Park Centre (SPC) before relocating elsewhere on the site.

ESPL is now developing its 2022 - 2035 strategy. Around 3,500 high-value jobs will be located at Exeter Science Park in the late 2030’s improving productivity and driving economic growth. ESPL aims to maintain and accelerate the existing development momentum by developing around 200k sqft between 2022 and 2028 and with another 200k sqft (approx.) between 2029 and 2035. It seeks to be an exemplar of sustainability, to build a vibrant community, to make a geographic impact beyond the Science Park and to inspire the next STEMM generation. This will include implementing a membership scheme.

The Role:

Our current Executive Assistant is due to start maternity leave in October 2022 leaving a fantastic opportunity for someone to fulfil this role on a full-time temporary basis. We hope the successful candidate will be in post by mid-September allowing a full handover of roles and responsibilities.

We recognise that this is a temporary position however we appreciate quality and will retain talent within the organisation where possible.

ESPL is an ambitious and forward-thinking organisation, and this role will be imperative to ensuring that the CEO and the wider team are effectively and proactively supported, from an administrative and operational perspective, to enable the organisation to progress towards its strategic vision. On a day to day basis, you will transform the CEO’s efficient use of time by remaining mindful and seeking to understand their priorities, using this knowledge to inform the coordination of their calendar.

It will also be important to liaise closely with the CEO to capture business opportunities and to disseminate these to the team as appropriate, facilitating collaborative working and the continued growth of the organisation. You will use initiative and forward planning to support the CEO in undertaking research, as well as preparing and drafting documents, plans, reports, speeches, presentations and other papers in advance of meetings, to enable them to make well informed decisions. Similarly, you will be responsible for accurately taking notes and minutes from a range of meetings to evidence decisions made and to be used for future reference.

To enable the CEO to focus on strategic responsibilities, it will be important for you to screen all phone calls, emails and post, and to answer and deal with queries from a range of stakeholders (Shareholders, Board, clients, suppliers, colleagues), providing regular feedback to the CEO and escalating enquiries where necessary. You will also be responsible for organising and administering any travel arrangements required by the CEO and the team, creating and maintaining accurate filing systems to enable the secure storage and retrieval of information, and supporting the CEO with outgoing post.

This is a dynamic role in a rapidly changing business and, alongside providing administrative support to the CEO, you will manage and drive forward specific projects, as directed by the CEO, as well as support the team in their project activity. Whilst providing proactive and effective support to the CEO will be your principal focus, you will also collaborate closely with the wider team, such as in the setting up and administration of marketing activities and events, to contribute effectively towards the successful delivery of ESPL products and services.

The Person:

As an experienced Executive Assistant or Executive PA, you are highly self-motivated and committed to providing proactive support to the CEO, enabling them to focus on the strategic development of the business. It is essential that you have 5 GCSEs or O Levels (or an equivalent qualification), including at least a grade C in Maths and English, and it would be beneficial to have also undertaken a formal secretarial or administrative course, and to hold qualifications in the field of finance and project management (such as PRINCE2), to support you in your role. Nevertheless, it is important that you have previous experience in holding project management responsibilities and delivering on your objectives.

You have a strong track record in effectively managing the calendars of senior managers to make the most efficient use of their time and pride yourself on maintaining high levels of accuracy in everything that you do. Experience of working in a small and growing business would be an advantage, and an ability to manage and adapt to change as the organisation evolves is imperative. Whilst not essential, this is a dynamic role and it would be beneficial to have experience in working with a range of stakeholders, including the public, private and University sectors, holding responsibilities in corporate governance, experience in interpreting financial information and in managing social media for professional networking and marketing purposes.

You are someone who can use your initiative with minimal direction, proactively seeks to understand the business and are able to quickly understand priorities to provide excellent support to the CEO and the team. As well as your excellent time management and organisational skills, your strengths lie in the quality of your verbal and written communication, your typing speed whilst ensuring accuracy (preferably at least 60 words per minute) as well as your fluency in IT, particularly Microsoft Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word.

ESPL is an evolving and growing organisation, therefore it is crucial that you have a keen interest in being a part of its journey and are willing to collaborate with the wider team to achieve results. Whilst an interest in the processes of innovation and technology would be advantageous to enhance your knowledge of the Park’s mission, it is not essential, although a passion for learning and continuous improvement is crucial. Due to the nature of the organisation, you will thrive in the changeable environment and will remain mindful of how processes can be enhanced and made more efficient as the business grows. 

The Rewards:

We offer a competitive salary package, including a discretionary bonus scheme and a generous holiday entitlement of 28 days + bank holidays (FTE); we also offer a range of enhanced benefits to support our team, including ongoing development opportunities, enhanced family friendly policies, salary sacrifice opportunities for cycle to work and pension, which is expected to extend to electric vehicles, as well as discounted food in the Science Park Centre. This is an exciting chance to be part of a progressive and cutting-edge business in a beautiful location, where you can really make a difference.

If you possess the experience, passion and attitude to make this role a success then we would love to hear from you. Please apply by submitting your CV and a covering letter or for further details you can contact us on 0330 223 5253.