Megan Pennington says the "pretty" parts of interior design are fun, but she was more interested in the behind the scenes, how things work aspect of design. Luckily, at one of Lone Star College-Kingwood's career days, a representative from the International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) handed her a brochure and opened her eyes to the world of Facilities Management.
Pennington graduated from Northeast Christian Academy in Kingwood and says she was drawn to facilities management.
"I'm more interested in how things work, especially in the commercial field. Commercial design is on a much larger scale and the concepts are visible to the customer for a longer period of time. I didn't want to be drawing office cubicles for a living."
A facilities manager essentially ensures that everything is available and operating for building occupants or visitors to be comfortable and safe. Job responsibilities may include overseeing renovations, space planning, complying with safety and disability laws, monitoring the performance of contractors and developing evacuation plans.
Facilities management is a well paying career with rapid professional advancement. According to a recent survey by the IFMA and Building Operating Management magazine, those entering the field can potentially be looking at a starting salary of $63,000. The report also indicates that the field is experiencing an aging workforce and a decline in new workers, each good indicators of a prime field for future graduates.
Currently interning in the Facilities Management office at the University of Houston-Downtown, she says, "I really have a lot of fun coming to work. I like that every day is something new."
Pennington will graduate in May 2008 and says she's excited to be the first graduate in the facilities management program. "I would recommend this program. For anyone interested in management and how a building works, this is a program to look into," she says.
Facilities management is a two-year program leading to an Associate of Applied Science degree. The program is housed within LSC-Kingwood's Interior Design curriculum, but is made up of both design and business-related classes.
Plan on attending the Interior Design open house to meet with faculty and tour the teaching facilities and interior design lab on Friday, April 4, from 11a.m. to 1p.m. For more information, call 281-312-1639.
For general information about Lone Star College-Kingwood, call 281-312-1600 or visit our Web site at http://kingwood.lonestar.edu/.
Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and the Lone Star College-University Center. With 49,250 students, it is the largest college system in the Houston area, and third largest community college district in Texas. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.