Gracesyn Powell is the personal assistant to Emerald Storm at EVA. She spends her time saving Emerald’s time by doing research, cross-checking information, keeping expense records, entering data, making purchases, and booking reservations. She also schedules Emerald’s meetings and makes sure she never forgets a date or time on her calendar. Gracesyn is a strong advocate for mental health, including the mental health of the EVA team, and frequently checks in to caution one and all to be mindful of their workload and take care of themselves. She is never without a kind word on a dark day.
Tell us about yourself. Where do you live? What do you like to do for fun? Any hobbies or skills?
I live in Southern Florida, about two hours north of Miami. I like to take naps for fun. I also enjoy snuggling with my kiddo, who’s seventeen months old, playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, listening to music, and writing. In terms of skills, I’d say I’m a good researcher – I can almost always find information, and from credible sources as well.
Why/how did you become a virtual assistant?
Funny story – I found a post in one of my Facebook Mom Groups about work-from-home jobs. The suggestion for a virtual assistant job came up, and I saw Emerald Virtual Assistance mentioned in a different group. It tickled my brain to think about working in an assistant field, specifically from home, because I’ve always been interested in administrative and clerical tasks like data entry, record keeping, filing system maintenance, etc. Ever since I interviewed with Emerald, I’ve loved it here and have no regrets.
What do you love most about your job?
I genuinely feel like I can actually make a remarkable impact on people’s lives as a virtual assistant, providing security, comfort, and the knowledge that the things my clients ask me to do will get done. I feel like I’m able to provide support and reassurance when my clients need me, and I’m part of a really awesome team.
What are you passionate about in the workplace?
I’m passionate about being the best that I can be at my job and at all my various tasks and assignments. I’m passionate about feeding into a cycle of growth, expansion, and opportunity. I’m passionate about learning more about my clients so I can better meet their needs. I’m passionate about neurodivergency and accommodating and supporting neurodivergent brains and people.
What do you bring to the table at EVA? What type of work do you do as a VA?
What do I bring to the table? Dark humor and some sass. But seriously – I’m usually tapped for data entry, clerical work, office administration work, record keeping, creating and filing system processes, scheduling, research tasks, and travel work. In the span of two weeks, I extensively researched Virginia’s foraging laws, found the perfect dog boarding kennel, and helped a client create a comparison spreadsheet. I also dip my fingers into recording and keeping note of expenses, and social media management upon the occasion.
Recently, I became certified as a bookkeeper and a member of the NACPB. I am excited to bring these skills to EVA and offer our clients services they might not be able to find elsewhere. These services include recording financial transactions, reconciling bank statements, managing accounts payable and accounts receivable, payroll processing, financial reporting, and budgeting and forecasting, to name a few.
What is it like being Emerald’s assistant and working directly with Emerald every day?
Working with Emerald closely, since the middle of February, has been an incredibly enlightening, empowering, affirming experience for me, both as her employee and her assistant, as well as a human being. Emerald’s ability to see someone having a human experience and grant them compassion, patience, and a solid hand to hold as they trudge through life’s many shadowy patches has inspired me to deep-dive into my hyperfocus of mental health and neurodivergency, and find ways to help our clients, my coworkers, and myself heal through a variety of life paths that cause us trouble, pain, and complication. Working with Emerald has been like working with the ultimate embodiment of The Mother. It’s been an incredible to help her establish better boundaries and challenge her notion of what asking for help looks like for her.
What would you tell potential clients about why they should hire a VA?
Having a VA can truly provide you with the mental space and room to be something rather than just do something. We often get caught up in the dos of working – I have to go to a meeting, I have to go do this, I have to go do that. But that results in a lack of connection, a lack of person-to-person relationship between employees and their coworkers, employees and their employers, and the workforce as a whole. Instead, with a VA, you can off board so many different types of tasks that it frees up the ability to be with your family, to be fully present in your work meetings, to be in each moment as it comes.
What is something you wish people knew about being a VA?
Being a VA is more than the media portrays – I’m not running back and forth between cubicles delivering coffees to top executives or yelling at an intern for messing up our breakfast order. I’m legitimately helping keep track of pivotal life moments for people. Birthdays, holidays, weddings, anniversaries. I’m helping restructure people’s lives to accommodate changes like new babies, new schools, new employment. I’m helping facilitate a real, genuine, human connection between my clients and their lives, so they aren’t just living their lives – they are thriving in their lives.
What is something surprising or interesting about yourself that people might not know?
I am more than likely Autistic, based on previous assessments and diagnostic testing. I found that out in 2022, this current year, and still haven’t fully come to grips with it. (Also, I type about 120 words per minute on my LED backlit Razer Black Widow keyboard and my speed is cut down to about 110 words per minute on a MacBook Pro Air keyboard. Also-also, my special interest is mental health and neurodivergency. Shocker!)
Thank you, Gracesyn!