Meet the Woman Who Beat Out 4,500 Other Applicants for the Toughest Job in Advertising

Grace Diebel has what it takes

It was the greatest ad seeking an executive assistant in the history of executive assistants—sending applicants from an intimidating Craigslist post through a set of ludicrous online challenges and on to many rounds of interviews (in person and in Google Hangouts).

"Rich Silverstein answers to nobody," said the ad. "And that nobody could be you."

A month later, we have a winner.

After receiving a staggering 4,500 applications, San Francisco agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners today revealed Rich Silverstein's new assistant. Her name is Grace Diebel. The Fairfax, Calif., native and U.C. Davis graduate wasn't put off by the horror stories of how demanding Silverstein can be. Like most of the applicants, she was intrigued by the creativity of the job listing and figured the work would be just as interesting.

"I could tell they were having fun with it. I thought, 'Yeah, this guy is probably a little intimidating,' but I wasn't afraid," she says in a Q&A. "I was a fan of the posters and branding-identity work that he'd done for the Golden Gate National Parks, so I thought that somebody who loved the outdoors and Marin [County] couldn't be all that bad."

Diebel, who was brought into the agency three times for eight separate interviews, starts this Monday. "The most important thing is that this isn't a reality-show contest; this is a job," she says. "And I was picked because they think I can do the job. So I'm going to do the job really well."