Meet the VA: Melanie McDowell

Get Ahead VAGet Ahead TeamMeet the VA: Melanie McDowell

Here at Get Ahead VA our people are everything.  Our ever growing team has a wide range of highly skilled professionals with different backgrounds, expertise and even different personalities to ensure that we can find exactly the right virtual assistant to match our customers’ requirements.

Here’s 60 seconds with one of our virtual assistants Melanie who has a wealth of marketing expertise from a varied international marketing career including high profile corporate companies Eurostar and Natwest:

Name: Melanie McDowell

Area of expertise: Project Management, Marketing and Social Media

When & why did you join Get Ahead VA: I joined Get Ahead VA at the beginning of 2017, wanting to use my marketing skills whilst still being able to work flexibly around the needs of my family, and Get Ahead VA enables me to do just that.  When I met Rebecca for the first time, her energy and passion for the business made me want to be part of the team.  I particularly love that she gets the team together periodically, where we are able to share ideas and experiences.  I find I get so much energy being in a room with so many experienced and amazing people.

What did you do before you joined Get Ahead VA:  I am originally from New Zealand and have travelled extensively and lived in many places.  I moved to the UK shortly after graduating from university where I studied Industrial Design and Engineering.  My career has been varied, multi-national, multi-cultural and never ever boring.  I have been a Project Manager for Eurostar UK, delivering their reservation, ticketing, and check-in systems.  I have worked for NatWest Bank as a Project Manager in Corporate Banking, before moving to Retail Banking and subsequently the Customer Strategy team.  I took a career break from marketing strategy in the banking industry whilst having my children, and since returning to work, I have worked on projects for several small businesses including Marketing Manager for niche magazines both in the UK and New Zealand.

Career highlight to date: This one is difficult; too many to name!  When the Eurostar service first started running (over 20 years ago) I was one of the early project managers delivering some fairly ground-breaking projects to the rail industry.  There was so much rapid development going on in the business, it was a really exciting time to be part of such a huge undertaking spanning so many industries – engineering, travel, international relations … and many more.

I also loved my time at Royal Bank of Scotland during the takeover of NatWest bank.  One of my projects was responsibility for a segment of customers called “Cumulative Impact” customers.  These customers were heavily engaged with the bank, held multiple products, used many of the services and were therefore impacted severely by the takeover and subsequent changes to almost their entire banking experience.  I was responsible for leading the customer communication and relationship management for those customers.  I loved being able to look out for such an important group of customers in such a huge organisation and realise that their customer experience really was one that mattered.

Plans for the future: Having explored so many different places, including spending time living on a boat on the Thames, I have settled in West Sussex and intend being there for a long time.  I look forward to being part of the continued success of the Get Ahead VA team, working with more clients and becoming involved in the exciting visions of small businesses.  I consider each new project a new personal venture that I can’t wait to get my teeth stuck into.


If your business could benefit from help from Melanie or any of our other virtual assistants in the UK please get in touch on 01483 332220 or [email protected]  

Our team of highly experienced VAs love to take on the tasks you don’t have the time to do, don’t have the skills to do or simply don’t want to do.  We pride ourselves on being the staff you don’t see, but the difference you do.

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