Facility Management Internships
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Facility Management Internships Real World Practices, Challenges and Opportunities. Presented by: Joseph Geierman, CFM, FMP Kathy Roper, CFM, MCR, LEED-AP, IFMA Fellow. Meet Our Presenters:. Kathy Roper, CFM, MCR, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Facility Management Internships Real World Practices, Challenges and Opportunities

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Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

Facility Management Internships

Real World Practices, Challenges and Opportunities

Presented by:

Joseph Geierman, CFM, FMP

Kathy Roper, CFM, MCR, LEED-AP, IFMA Fellow


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

Meet Our Presenters:

Kathy Roper, CFM, MCR, LEED AP, IFMA Fellow

Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology

Joseph Geierman, CFM, FMP

Senior Facilities Operations Manager at

Troutman Sanders LLP


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • The Challenge

  • Increased number of colleges and universities offering FM as a major.

  • To compete, graduates still need real world experience

  • Internship programs in FM departments have been few and far between

    • Not usually a core (profit center) business function

    • Facility Managers have not known how to start a program or how to find interns


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Survey and Interviews

  • 65 FMs responded to questions regarding their experience with and interest in internship programs

  • Interviews with 3 FM students who’ve participated in internship programs

  • In depth Interview with 1 FM who has worked with interns in her department

  • Interview with administrator for a Facility Management program at a university


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Interviewees

  • Karen Cochran, LEED AP, CFM - Sustainability Lead at PG&E in San Francisco

  • Brenda Morris – Recruitment Officer at Georgia Tech school of Building Construction

  • Ryan Lee – GA Tech Student / Intern

  • Elizabeth Wilson – GA Tech Student / Intern

  • Sola Mosuro – GA Tech Student / Intern


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Potential Benefits of Internship Programs

  • 82% of respondents believed an internship enhances a candidate’s competitiveness in the job market

    • A possible way to identify future employees

  • Accomplish tasks that could not otherwise get done

  • Department benefits from interns’ enthusiasm


Potential benefits of internship programs

Potential Benefits of Internship Programs

  • Studies from related fields (tourism, hospitality, management) have found benefits for:

    • Students – experiences, real world learning about work world

    • Employers – preview of potential employees, and access to new views and staffing

    • Industry – better qualified entry level and early career employees who understand more


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • How Interns Are Being Found

  • Professional associations

    • CoreNet Internship program (now discontinued)

  • Referral from Colleges/Universities

    • When approached directly by companies

    • Georgia Tech’s Building Construction & Facility Management Master’s Program

  • Applications from Organization website

    • Government laboratory


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • DOL Criteria for Unpaid Interns

  • Provides training similar to what would be given in an educational environment

  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;

  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff

  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • DOL Criteria for Unpaid Interns

  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship

  • The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

Features of Internship Programs


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • What’s Holding us Back?

  • Cost Constraints

  • No idea where to find candidates

  • Uncertainty about intern tasks

    • Time commitment from FM

  • FM Not a Core business function

    • “Interns should be hired by outsourcers”

  • Lack of support from professional groups

  • Not all colleges have efficient way of connecting employers to students


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Cost Constraints

  • Several survey respondents indicated they do not have a budget for internships

  • Would need help understanding the costs and scope to include in budget

  • There needs to be a clear pay-off to the organization

  • “Funding is an issue; if any internships can be unpaid (or funded outside our company), that would help a lot.”


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Finding Candidates

  • Some survey respondents indicated they do not know where to find interns

  • “We need a good pipeline of candidates”

  • “We would need help with the recruiting process”


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Assigning Work to Interns

  • Several respondents did not know what to have interns do for them

    • Requests for sample job descriptions

    • Looking for examples of what other companies do

  • “[I would need] a prototype job description and some sense of salary requirements.”

  • “[I would need] a description of the duties interns perform at other companies, and what those programs look like.”


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Assigning Work to Interns

  • Time commitment

    • Requires someone to come up with a work-plan

    • Provide guidance/leadership/shadowing

    • Fear intern may take FM away from core responsibilities

  • “The only thing that holds people back from utilizing the resource is that it takes time to direct them and supervise them.”


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Lack of Support from Professional Associations

  • CoreNet had a program, but has discontinued it.

  • No leadership from IFMA on this issue

  • If we do not get these people when they are new to the industry, we risk them viewing our associations as irrelevant.


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Inefficient Methods of Connecting Employers with Students

  • Not all colleges have efficient way of connecting employers to students

    • Georgia Tech approached by companies, but may not know which students are interested.


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Marks of a Successful Internship Program

  • The work being asked of the intern should be meaningful to the organization

  • There should be a finite deliverable that can be accomplished within the timeframe they are working there.

  • Choose the project, then choose interns based on the skills required for that project (number crunching, engineering, etc)

  • Assign the intern a mentor (or mentors) they can shadow


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Meaningful Work

  • Work that no one has time to do

    • PG&E had an intern pull together a report on the history of their HQ building

    • Had been outstanding for years

    • Others have suggested small projects that might otherwise go undone

  • MacPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Agency

    • Former military base

    • Student conducted detailed surveys of the buildings


Facility management internships real world practices challenges and opportunities

  • Mentorship/Shadowing

  • Provides opportunity for student to observe real world activities in the FM arena, and:

    • A. Learn from them

    • B. Determine whether this is the right career path

  • “Not only have I learned a lot about building systems and processes, but I have learned great leadership and motivational skills from my mentor. I look forward to coming into work every day!” – Elizabeth Wilson


Quick survey

Quick Survey

  • Would your internship experience become available or be enhanced by available guidelines and/or tools to link students & openings?

  • Do you believe more internships will improve the FM industry? Is this worthwhile?

  • Leave us your card if you want to participate or help develop the guides or receive them


Questions

Questions?

Thanks for your attention and help


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