A facilities manager’s time is absorbed by many responsibilities. Whether it is planning for growth, working with regulatory agencies or interpreting regulations, in the mix of a busy work life, it’s easy to lose track of other matters, such as giving back to younger professionals.

It’s important to give back by sharing knowledge and experiences with new people entering the field to ensure the next generation of facility managers are prepared.

After all, everyone has been asked these same questions at one point in their career: “Who helped you get to where you’re at today?” Or, “Who was the most influential person to you during your career?” Not only is investing in young professionals the right thing to do, but it helps ensure future success. 

The best way to engage and introduce students to facilities management is to lay out clear expectations. Entry-level professional/student expectations are to graduate from college, get a good job in their chosen field and become a leader. However, from the facility management perspective, it is not ideal to place an entry-level professional/student in a position where experience in health care facilities is necessary. Facility managers hire entry-level professionals with the understanding that they lack experience but will help them develop and become more competent in the field.

The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) is a great avenue for facility managers to network and meet undergrads and new grads. There is an ASHE internship program that helps connect students with learning opportunities. ASHE also invites students to its annual conference and technical exhibition, as well as the International Summit & Exhibition on Health Facility Planning, Design & Construction. These are great opportunities for facility managers to network and be a resource for students.

Health care facility management is one of the most rewarding and exciting industries to work in. It is important to express that to younger individuals looking to start a career. The best way to move forward is to provide clear expectations to the students and, more importantly, let them know they can learn and take on additional roles as opportunities arise and as they become more competent
in the field.