Becoming a Facility Manager
By the time Nolan Rinta reached the end of this sophomore year, he was still determining what his major would be. It wasn’t until he met with his adviser, Megan Seltz, that he became aware of the facility management track within the Construction Management degree program. Assured by Seltz that there was a need for qualified people in this field, Rinta committed to the track. He soon realized it was a great fit for him.
We sat down with Rinta to pick his brain about facility management.
CCE: So what is facility management, exactly?
NR: Every building has its own facility manager, the person who’s responsible for maintaining and developing that facility to meet the needs of the people who inhabit it over the course of the building’s life. I didn’t even know this was a field until my adviser told me about it, but it makes a lot of sense. Everybody needs someone to manage their facility.
CCE: What does a facility manager do from day to day?
NR: Facility managers wear a lot of hats because they need to know everything about the building they’re managing, or they need to be able to find out information quickly. They’re not going to know how to do all the electrical, mechanical, or operation of certain equipment. Instead, they have a Rolodex of contacts that they can call in order to make sure the building is operating efficiently. A lot of what they’re doing is looking into different subcontractors for various jobs.
Facility managers also do things like budgeting, meeting with upper management, and making decisions about future projects based on balancing the budget and planning for 10 or 20 years down the road. Part of the job also includes being able to manage an internal maintenance crew.
CCE: What do you like about this track within the construction management major?
NR: I like the fact that you work with a lot of different people. That’s what I got to do when I played the role of facility manager on the study-abroad trip to Costa Rica. Instead of just working on the construction estimate, you get to talk to other contractors and subgroups, finding out what their ideas are. Working with this diverse group of people is why I’m excited to be a facility manager. I appreciate the opportunity to do something different every day.
CCE: What would your dream job be after you graduate in the spring?
NR: I would really like to be a facility manager abroad, in a Spanish-speaking country. Maybe in a tourist location where I could be a facility manager for a hotel or something. A nice location surrounded by happy people. I don’t know yet, but that’s a dream.