My name is Carol Nourse and I’m the CEO of VA Online. I have worked as a secretary and in administrative and marketing roles for many years and, whilst I enjoyed the work, I always felt that the work of support staff was often undervalued. I knew how hard I worked and how much thought and time went into tasks and yet my salary never reflected the efforts I put in.
I had often thought that I ought to set up a business working from home to offer a high-level administration and secretarial service to local companies. A year ago, I decided to take the plunge and do some research into how I could achieve this. I found many websites offering training and I looked at many companies offering virtual assistant services. The site that made the greatest impression on me was the one belonging to a certain Miss Friday, AKA Michelle Dale! My initial impression was that Michelle’s website was very professional, lively, interesting and different! I then discovered that she wrote a fantastic blog and before long had realised that she was offering places on the beta version of her apprenticeship course. I eagerly applied and managed to get a place on the course.
I can honestly say that the course opened my eyes. I think I had been expecting simply to learn what equipment I would need and what sort of software to use. The course encompasses much more and is a complete guide to the novice VA as to how to set up in business, encompassing everything from the design of your own unique website to internet marketing and customer service skills.
Not only is the course exceptional, but the level of support from Michelle was immense. She constantly offered her support to us in the forums (a fabulous source of information and camaraderie) and I was left in no doubt that she is a highly professional, dedicated and caring individual. However, Michelle was not alone – her a fantastic team were always on hand with advice and encouragement so that even though this is a virtual course, I never felt alone.
Completing the course has enabled me to follow my dream of living abroad as a digital nomad and I am now happily based in Crete, Greece. On top of that, I know that I have a great-looking website, the knowledge and confidence to make this succeed and I still have the support of the Virtual Miss Friday team behind me if I need them.