From Girl Friday to strategic partner – Zoë Robinson

Zoe Robinson "We can learn from the most senior people in an organisation – we’re effectively being mentored"

In this new series of articles Executive PA Media editor Claire Muir explores the evolution of the high-level assistant with the help of some talented and insightful Executive PA Magazine readers

Zoë Robinson, head of strategic projects at nib nz headshot filed in recognition folder

Zoë is a seasoned people leader with 20 years’ experience working alongside C-Suite executives. Her focus is on ensuring the business delivers its strategic goals while creating a premium workplace experience, bringing people together and keeping teams connected.

“Back in 2016, I was chosen as Executive PA Magazine’s PA of the Year. Having my skills verified and endorsed by an external body of international industry experts and being selected as an individual who is at the very top of their field – not only in my city, or country, but across a whole continent – was a huge achievement. Not only that – it opened up some new development opportunities, like speaking engagements, and kickstarted another level in what I wanted as part of my career growth.

“Last year, I moved into a new position at nib as Head of Strategic Projects that not only encompasses my existing EA role but expands my remit. It’s hard work, it’s intense and it’s exciting. And there’s so much opportunity to learn, grow and develop while contributing to the success of our business. Whatever your role, it’s beneficial to everyone for you to be clear about the contribution you think can make to an organisation and the direction you want to move in.”

“I genuinely think we have one the best jobs. One of the things I love about this role is the opportunity you can create for yourself. We can learn from the most senior people in an organisation – we’re effectively being mentored. The scope we can have to absorb their knowledge and experience is invaluable.

“The best piece of advice I’ve ever had is from a partner I worked with. He used to pull me aside if I referred to him as my “boss” or if I said I worked “for” him. He’d say: “You don’t work for me. You work with me.” It was a very strong message and it’s something that’s stuck.”