3.12 My FM Path and Spelling and Defining Facilities Management and Facility Manager Holistically

Audrey L. Schultz


My path to the field of facilities management is significantly different from others’. In the late 1970s, I was an art assistant for two art teachers at Eleanor Roosevelt Senior High School in Greenbelt, MD, USA. They both articulated that I should stay away from the arts since they never knew if they had a job from year to year. Back then, the school system frequently reduced its spending for the arts and music. At the same time, the school systems were starting to let female students register for shop classes and I decided to enroll in a shop class so that I could work on car engines. To be more specific my plan was to work on our 1967 Chevrolet Bel Air station wagon 327 v-8 Turbo-Fire 275 hp engine. Nonetheless none of the team captains chose me to be on their team. The reason I’m telling you this is because something amazing happened. Subsequently since I didn’t get selected to be on a team, the teacher handed me a 4-inch-thick book on HVAC and refrigeration cycles and told me to read the entire book and develop a final exam that I would take at the end of the semester for a grade. He would prep me on the exam and grade it as well. This is where my appreciation and knowledge for mechanical systems originated and my initial exposure to facilities operations and maintenance (O&M) began. Since then, my immense fondness for facilities has always been ...

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