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I work with the British Ambassador: about the atmosphere in the collective and role of a leader
1144

18.01.2019

I work with the British Ambassador: about the atmosphere in the collective and role of a leader

Torgyn Ermanova, hometown — Kyzylorda, Executive Assistant to Ambassador


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About working at the Embassy


I worked in oil projects and found out about a vacancy in the British Embassy for the position of personal assistant to the Ambassador. After I looked at the requirements and conditions I thought the work would be interesting to me. The main role played that the UK is a strategically important partner for Kazakhstan, one of the major investors. It was a new direction for me. Among the hundreds of applications, mine was successful, I passed the competition and interviews. I have been working at the Embassy for two and a half years now.

My duties include paperwork, text translation for the Ambassador. I organize meetings, events and diplomatic receptions. I interact with the government of Kazakhstan, with various ministries, organize visits of official delegations from the UK, including Ministers, members of Parliament, secretaries of state.

Also, I am contact person of the Ambassador. Our Embassy cooperates with ministries on various issues - economic, political and trade.


About work with Ambassador


In the office, I address to the Ambassador by name, but if we are at official receptions, meetings I address as Ambassador. I am also the manager of the residence where we hold receptions and diplomatic dinners for our guests.

The Ambassador has been working only for a year, and during this time he has proved to be a true professional in working with colleagues inside the office and with external contacts. I learn a lot from the Ambassador every day, for example, to write diplomatic notes correctly, to negotiate with people.

My day starts with a meeting. I go to the Ambassador, and we discuss the tasks for the coming day. On the days when we receive official delegations, we work in an enhanced mode. Important to prioritize tasks and perform effectively.

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My work is interesting and varied. In my position the main quality is responsibility. I must be able to work on the situation, make effective decisions, work in a short time.

In addition to everyday informal learning, we have formal training. During my time at the Embassy, I studied at various training, went to the British Embassies in other countries to exchange experiences.


About plans


The staff of the Embassy is small, employees are working here for years, that means they like to work and have comfortable conditions.

I am glad I work at the British Embassy because we contribute to the development of bilateral relations between Kazakhstan and the UK.


Anastasia Tsai, hometown — Astana, head of the administrative department


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About working at the Embassy


I have been working at the Embassy for ten years. I got acquainted with English culture while studied in Britain for an exchange. I liked everything, and I discovered the position in the British Embassy is open. I passed the selection and by a chance of the fate was in the team.

I am the head of the administrative department and have a diverse job. I am engaged in HR recruitment, documentation, regulation of personal issues, coordinate training programs from the British Foreign Ministry. We often go abroad for training. I deal with the budget and problematic issues that need to be solved in a limited time.


About work with Ambassador


Important qualities in work with the Ambassador are professionalism, competence and knowledge of own work. Creativity and openness to new are welcomed. At the Embassy, we are constantly developing and learning new programs and strategies.

First of all, Ambassador brings a culture, because he is the head of the whole Embassy. He sets the tone and culture within the team. This is a person who represents the British Foreign Ministry. Competence and erudition, ability to build a team important in this position. For him important to be a good and wise leader.

I often work with the Ambassador, on a weekly basis. During the day we discuss important issues. There are no strict rules of communication, but we have linear relations, as in other Western organizations. When we have question and problem, we can directly talk with the Ambassador, address simply by name. If the question is not urgent, we try to solve it through a personal assistant, make an appointment. In the work, everything should be organized and elaborated for Ambassador to have time to the question of interest. Basically, we communicate in English, but in an informal setting, he can speak to us with Russian and Kazakh phrases.

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The peculiarity of work with the current Ambassador that he brought a positive to the team and created a family environment. When he came, he gathered a list of employees, learned our positions and how much we work. He focused on personal relationships and should have enough information about each employee. Every week his wife comes to our office, we communicate with his family.

Emphasis on respecting differences and accepting individuality of each person.

The Ambassador is attentive to the staff. He congratulates us on every important event or anniversary. For example, I was congratulated on a decade of work on our national day. It was a surprise he prepared together with colleagues. Much attention paid to the behaviour of employees. Emphasis on respecting differences and accepting individuality of each person.

Pleasant that the Embassy can find a balance between personal life and professional. We have five days of paid leave to study. We can work from home in agreement with the head. At the initiative of employees, we have an association of local staff who listen to the needs and suggestions. All employees come to an agreement only after conferring.


About plans


Here I learned the culture of communication and work, relationships and professional approach to work. I grew up in a career plan, although the Embassy has limited opportunities due to a small team. For many of us, the Embassy is a good start, a springboard for a further career.


Larisa Volkova, hometown — Karaganda, political and project officer


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About working at the Embassy


I started working in the British Council — it was my first step on the way to work in the Embassy. I have been working at the British Embassy for ten years. During this time I changed several positions and grew up as a professional.

I work in the political department. Our department is small, but with an important strategic mission. We are engaged in project activities aimed at supporting the reforms carried out by the government of Kazakhstan. For example, in the field of law, the protection of women and children rights, media development. We are working on further dialogue between our countries. This includes contacts at different levels.


About work with Ambassador


In the Embassy we work as a team and it is important for us. Each department supports the work of the other department. We maintain certain ethical and professional rules and regulations in the diplomatic environment. The high professionalism of the staff is in the necessary competencies of work in the Embassy. And in the ability to behave correctly inside the Embassy and at meetings of the state level. I had the privilege of visiting Akorda several times by accompanying Ambassador to the meetings with the President.

Our Ambassador is an open and friendly person. This is a great professional who feels the atmosphere inside the collective. I like he supports our development. Recently, the Ambassador launched an initiative to give employees a better level of English. He emphasizes that our level is high enough, but the area is so vast and he could hold seminars and lectures for us. On our initiative, we also attend Kazakh language courses at our Embassy. This way we will become even bigger professionals.

This is a great professional who feels the atmosphere inside the collective.

We have a policy that employees can call an Ambassador by his or her first name. But when we go to official meetings, we address to him, Ambassador. The official position sounds as Her Majesty's Ambassador.

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We have an official uniform, with the exception of Friday. On this day we have the right to wear jeans, come to work in a relaxed dress code. Once a month we celebrate birthdays of employees. The wife of Ambassador brings cakes, birthday person blows out candles and we sing Happy Birthday song in three languages.

I have constant interaction with the head of the diplomatic mission. We discuss everything related to briefings, writing of reports for the Ambassador on the political situation. During my work, I had the honour to meet members of the Royal family. Prince Richard took part in the event dedicated to the Queen's birthday. Also, I was involved in the visits of the British foreign secretary. David Cameron previous Prime Minister of Great Britain in 2013 visited Kazakhstan for the first time. Interesting and exciting experience when we are directly involved in high-level visits.

Interesting and exciting experience when we are directly involved in high-level visits.

During preparation for the guests' visit, we are in constant contact with our colleagues in London, who suggest in which direction to work. For the Ambassador important to establish close cooperation with colleagues within the Embassy, as well as with regional embassies around the world.


About plans


I like working at the Embassy because it is interesting and gives opportunities for development. The Embassy maintains a healthy balance between personal life and work. I like to communicate with people in my industry, with colleagues in London and from other embassies. I plan to continue to invest my professionalism in the development of bilateral dialogue between the UK and Kazakhstan.

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