Executive Assistant Homework Assignment

Situation/background

I have been given a new opportunity for a lucrative two-week consulting project in Berlin, Germany. The company, Glockenspielbratwurstwunderkind (yes, that name's made up, but assume all the rest of this is real-world: real people/company names, etc.) needs me to work in their office near Zoo Station from 11/3-11/12/15. I haven't booked anything yet: flights, hotel, etc. Right when I arrive, I’m expected to do a big talk to all 300 employees about how to be a good mentor. I’m still drafting the presentation.

I need to push a few previously scheduled meetings off to make this possible. One of those meetings was in Washington, DC with Elon Musk (what a bummer!), whom I've never met. He had kind of bent over backwards to accommodate my original meeting request, so I can't imagine he'll take it well. But, I’d still really like to meet him at some point in the future.

I want to take advantage of being in Berlin to meet with Leo Schmidt from Vigour.io for general networking. (Maybe he help connect me into the Berlin tech scene?) He’s a busy guy so it might be hard, and the last time I talked to him was something like a year ago. I don’t even know if he remembers me.

Unfortunately, while in Berlin, I need to do four different one-hour phone calls with clients back on the East Coast, but they can’t interfere with my daily 9-6 work schedule at Glockenspielbratwurstwunderkind. I really like doing business phone calls in serene, comfortable locations. (While in DC this past May-June last year, I took a bunch of calls at a pretty park and really enjoyed it.)

A few things you should know about me: I rely on my iPhone heavily, for navigation, deciding where to eat, getting around, finding hotels, managing my to-to list, taking notes, etc. I love travel, the outdoors, fall colors, biking/running, beer, historical sites, walking around cool neighborhoods, going to festivals, hearing live music, doing weird stuff, whatever. I've been to Berlin a few times before and have already done all the typical touristy stuff (Checkpoint Charlie, etc.). I’m a work-hard-play-hard kind of guy and don’t mind spending some serious money on stuff if it’s fun/cool/unique. Example: last summer when I was in Munich, I rented a fancy sports car, drove the Autobahn to the Bavarian Alps, tore up the roads, ran some mountain trails off the side of the road, then drove back, exhausted, but with a huge grin on my face!

 

Assignment

  1. Draft an email to Elon Musk informing him that I need to cancel our meeting. Include subject and body. I want to copy and paste and send myself. (Eek!!)

  2. Draft an email to Leo Schmidt that I could send maximizing the chances I get a meeting with him while in Berlin. Again, include subject, body, any attachments, etc.

  3. Suggest when/where I should do my East Coast business calls. Explain your rationale.

  4. Recommend an awesome weekend plan/itinerary for me. Explain your process for coming up with it.

  5. Tell me what mobile apps I should install/use to get around/live/eat while there. (I heard a while back that Uber was going to shut down in Berlin. Is that true? And are there enough restaurants on Yelp? What about for stuff other than dining and taxi service?)

  6. Provide a spreadsheet of the top 5 or so VC firms in the Berlin area that I might want to try to get a coffee meet-n-greet with. Include details like what kind/stage of companies they invest in, how big they are, their physical address, web site, and anything else you think is relevant.

  7. Create a great PowerPoint slide to replace this suck-tastic piece of crap. Include a script in the slide's note section for me to recite (around 30 seconds) while the slide is up. I'm willing to be flexible on the content (maybe 1-2 of the bullets are never mentioned) so that I can make the broader point crystal clear, ideally without boring people to tears. You can see my general presentation style in video form here (but there's no need for you to watch the whole thing).

 

Please email your completed assignment to me as a .zip file attachment to ben@foster-innovation.com. You should take about 4 hours to do this assignment. I recognize this is a lot to ask during an interview, so I will pay you a flat $100 upon completion.