Women of Qualified: Alison

Women of Qualified is a monthly blog series celebrating the female employees who make an impact to our business and team every day.

Women of Qualified: Alison
Shelly Weaver
Shelly Weaver
February 27, 2023
min read
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Meet Alison! 

Alison is the Executive Assistant to our leadership team and manages our San Francisco headquarters. She spends her days keeping our leaders organized, assisting our team with all things office related, and tackling any number of the day-to-day tasks that our team needs help with in order to thrive. Alison spoke with us about her journey to Qualified, what she loves about working in person in our office, and her advice for anyone trying to break into the Executive Assistant world.

Check out our conversation with Alison ⬇️

Tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to Qualified

Alison: My name is Alison Tacker, I’m the Executive Assistant and Office Manager here at Qualified. 

I found Qualified through an outside recruiter. Unfortunately, I was let go in a layoff with a previous company. I hadn’t even thought about finding a new job, I was pretty happy there. I started interviewing and instantly fell in love with Qualified. 

I knew that I wanted to pursue this process and every single time I spoke with somebody here, starting with Alison Manilouw, through Dan and Kraig, it just got me more and more excited. The product is really smart, the people are even smarter. 

The team is so fun and creative and I knew I wanted to be on it.

What's a typical day in the life look like for you?

Alison: It depends on what’s happening! 

If there are a bunch of people in, or we have a board meeting here, or customers in the house, I make sure the office looks good and is ready to go. Board rooms are all set and ready to go, execs have everything they need, and then handle all the little requests we get throughout the day. Monitors that aren’t working, someone needs a dongle, or help to work a conference room.

It’s a lot of really fun and different projects every day which is always exciting. There’s not a typical day here at Qualified, so it’s fun to be able to come in and try something new or work on a fun request from the Creative team or Kraig. 

It’s not just sitting at the desk all day calendaring and doing expense reports.

You have an extensive background in hospitality and event management, how did those skills translate to your current role?

Alison: I came out of college with no idea what I wanted to do and kind of fell into the hospitality industry. It was a lot of fun and gave me a lot of flexibility to grow different skills and move around. I think it was really beneficial being able to work in a ton of locations and meet a lot of different people with different backgrounds and do events, which is a lot of balls in the air. 

It was a great couple of years of my life, and then it got to a point where it wasn’t manageable anymore. I was missing too many family and friend events and holidays, and I wanted a little more work-life balance and structure in my life. 

I had no plan when I left Hyatt and said I’m going to try something else. I figured an Executive Assistant position seemed like a good next step to break into a different industry and learn something new but still use the skills I had to be able to multitask and get things done.

I was able to make internal people my customers as opposed to external customers. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work, and made for a great transition. 

What skills do you think are the most important to hone for someone looking to become an Executive Assistant?

Alison: I think your #1 thing is flexibility. You have to be able to move and groove. Their needs will move and change as quickly as they think them, so you have to be flexible and think outside of the box. Patience is key, and you have to be able to multitask. You have a lot in your head and new elements come into play as you’re going about your day–everything is constantly thrown at you so you have to learn how to keep everything straight. 

There’s no such thing as a “no” answer, even if you have no idea how to take the next step, say “yes” and ask questions. Use your resources to figure out how you’ll get it done. 

“Yes, if” is a great answer. You can’t say yes 100% of the time and you have to put parameters around what you can and cannot physically accomplish, but there’s just never a “no” answer. 

You started your role while most people were working from home, what's the vibe being back in the office?

Alison: When I first started at Qualified, I’d been working from home. It wasn’t required of me to come in every day but I knew Kraig and Dan were in so it was a good opportunity to be in front of them and learn and hear more about the product.

Over at our old office, it was a small group of us that were there every day and it was a different experience to speak with other friends that hadn’t been in an office setting in over a year than to go in every day. 

It was very quiet in San Francisco so it was interesting in those dark winter hours, but after the first week I was so pumped (and exhausted from being around people so often!) but now, in the new office, we have a bunch of people in daily. 

It’s good energy, and a good feeling not being confined into an apartment and having people around to talk to.

As the foremost authority on our office, what's the best feature?

Alison: I think just the view up here with the sunlight. You don’t feel trapped inside an office when you’re here. It’s between the sunlight and all the good energy of people coming in. 

Alison, we're so grateful for everything you contribute to our team, in office and online! Thank you for chatting with us about your work here at Qualified.

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