Wiki article on this topic: A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant is a person whose work consists of supporting management, including executives, using a variety of project management, communication, or organizational skills. However this role should not be confused with the role of an executive secretary, who differs from a personal assistant. In many countries, an executive secretary is a high-ranking position in the administrative hierarchy. In fact in Pakistan, federal secretaries are dubbed as the most influential people in the country.
The functions of a personal assistant may be entirely carried out to assist one other employee or may be for the benefit of more than one. In other situations a secretary is an officer of a society or organization who deals with correspondence, admits new members, and organizes official meetings and events.
A secretary, also known as a personal assistant or administrative assistant, has many administrative duties. The title "secretary" is not used as often as in decades past, and responsibilities have evolved to much more advance skill set such as mastering Microsoft Office applications: Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to name a few. The duties may vary according to the nature and size of the company or organization, and might include managing budgets, bookkeeping, attending telephone calls, handling visitors, maintaining websites, travel arrangements, and preparing expense reports. Secretaries might also manage all the administrative details of running a high-level conference or meeting and be responsible for arranging the catering for a lunch meeting. Often executives will ask their assistant to take the minutes at meetings and prepare meeting documents for review. In addition to the minutes, the secretary may be responsible for keeping all of the official records of a company or organization. A secretary is also regarded as an "office manager".
The term is derived from the Latin word secernere, "to distinguish" or "to set apart", the passive participle meaning "having been set apart", with the eventual connotation of something private or confidential, as with the English word secret. A secretarius was a person, therefore, overseeing business confidentially, usually for a powerful individual. As the duties of a modern secretary often still include the handling of confidential information, the literal meaning of their title still holds true.