About Ursula Hasenkopf

In Her Own Words

In my 21 years of online experience I have met and worked with thousands of highly qualified individuals.  Ursula Hasenkopf is a remarkable example of all of those qualities in one person.  I knew immediately that she was a future entrepreneur.   Today she is the owner of SocialMediaCollaborator.com, a business that among other things will be the backbone of Jericho Technology’s worldwide expansion.  I asked her to introduce herself in her own words:

“Over my last 21 years of being an office administrator, secretary and Personal Assistant, I have had the honor and privilege of working with all kinds of personalities making up my so called “boss-collection”. Some have been hard task masters who pushed me to better myself and others taught me that I need to develop myself as nobody else will row your boat for you.

I have worked in various industries, from life assurance, hospitality, insurance, medical, legal and food and beverage / manufacturing.  All of which, being so different teach one different methods of dealing with situations, work systems and ethics.

The privilege I have had was to develop from a junior office clerk where all I did was answer the phones, data capturing and filing right up until my very last position with was to be an Executive Assistant for an executive director and then to another Managing Director.

During my last 10 years of my 21 years of experience, I was with the South African Breweries Limited.  They are a globally strong company and I was honored to be working there starting as a secretary for the Financial Manager: Office Services.  There I learned how to manage a boss, her time and her team. To keep the team synchronized  together and communication, communication, communication was the answer.  I learned how important it was to use effective methods of getting information to my boss, timelessly.   I learnt that in the real world, you are not going to always be liked but that doesn’t mean you have to hate the world just because others sometimes do.

I then decided that my development was not enough. I wanted to be more of a resource. I then started to develop and groom myself to be a SAP Superuser as I realized that there was a gap for the administrators having a resource to ask questions when they were stuck on any SAP related questions. After some intense training, I got my SAP Superuser status and Facilitation Status too. I was running training.  Please don’t get me wrong, I also took advantage of all the in-house training that was being given, for example, speed reading (I rationalized that this would be advantageous in that I could read the documents faster and then only give the urgent ones to my boss, saving them time), time management.  Who would have guessed that this would be so critical to me now knowing how to categorize “chunks of time” for projects, meetings, personal time gaps that my boss needed?

In addition to the above, it came to me that if I wanted to be a PA who the boss relied on to be their mirror, to be their right hand person; I would need to be more than just a systems sussed person. I decided to go for my degree.  I did some research and did this part time. I wanted to understand more on how HR would work and people so that we could also help manage this for our boss in terms of our people processes, accounting, commercial law, performance reviews and psychology and ergonomics. Our teams had to be comfortable in their environment. In 2009, I got my Bachelors Degree (specializing in Industrial Psychology).  Working and studying helped in terms of the theory and practical experience.

Realising that there was a gap again, there was not PA forum as a resource for PA’s to use for being the most effective PA/Administrator from training, to maps, to suppliers to use. You name it; it was this one stop shop.  I managed to persuade a team of 3 ladies to develop this forum. After designing a website and formulating my business proposal, I sent this to the director’s wing.  This was applauded and I chaired that forum for a year and then had to hand over as one is only allowed to chair it for a year.  It is still running today.

I was then encouraged to participate in the National Office Professional of the Year and I came in the top 5. An experience as they gave us gruelling assignment to complete in addition to our normal work and deadlines to deliver these assignments very tight. Seeing how one works under pressure, I guess.

There was an opening in the main director’s wing working as the PA to the Executive Director: Corporate Affairs and Transformation.  This was a full on personal assistant function.  It involved running the ED’s day, as well as managing home front issues, team issues, managing our office budget, workshops, communication days, events and ensuring that my boss was where he was supposed to be on time, every time and with all the briefing packs, dress code and his speeches in hand and if there were any emergencies, ensure that he was attended to.  I ensured that the IT division equipped me with a laptop, offsite connection so that if anything, I was still able to contact my boss should he be away travelling which he so often did. The office had to run as normal no matter what.

My last position in the corporate world was being a PA to the Managing Director of Sasol in the ChemCity arena where they do entrepreneurial development.  Another exciting position to be in as the industry is so different from the South African Breweries.

Then I read “Trajectory”.

“Trajectory” is exactly what it says “trajectory”. It will launch your business and you as a person, if you just follow the systematic step by step plan on how to promote your business which gives you a result of a huge Twitter following. From the moment I started reading this amazing piece of work by Mr Michael R H Stewart, it launched me from my space of ignorance and doubt about being a social media entrepreneur into a whole new dimension of “aha, this can be done”.

I chose this book as Mr Stewart has a brilliant reputation for advising business and people how to get “off the ground” with their product/plan, he has 20 years of internet marketing experience under his belt, 75000 engaged Twitter followers and realized after reading that he has approached this book with the human touch, stating the mistakes he has encountered and how, I as a social media entrepreneur, can avoid for the sake of wasting costs, saving time and effort but never forgetting the importance of being authentic, customer-centric and giving back once you have reached your success trajectory space.

This book applies to anyone, social media strategists, business owners/entrepreneurs or business executives, who want to boost their knowledge of how to make their business fly with Twitter, and how one is able to promote their business with Twitter, locate and engage their customers and thereby amass the Twitter following one is looking for. It is also an incredible source on which sites one can use to monitor your customers and see what they really want. He has included a daily plan on how you can systematically do your business and get that “Trajectory” that makes your business a success.

The advantage of having this book is that it also deals with how to make your Twitter following sustainable and how to avoid non-compliance. I found the glossary of internet wording and Twitter community help sites useful.

I also found the examples, Steve Jobs, VW, Virgin Airlines, Mashable very valuable as it is real life scenarios that we can refer to.

All in all, business via the internet and amassing a Twitter following is “simple but not easy” and with this guide which is more like a map, it will help to point you in the right direction from the word go.”