Spotlight on the next generation

by Natalie Gunn, a student at Washington State University

If you asked me a year ago what the
Facilities Services department at my school did, I would tell you I didn’t know that our school had a facilities department, and I definitely didn’t know what they did. It’s crazy how all of that has changed in a year. Since learning about my university’s Facilities Services, not only have I been able to have an internship within the department, but have had many amazing opportunities outside of the school; opportunities like the PCAPPA Conference.

Going into my last year of studying architecture, after interning in WSU’s Facilities Services Capital department, I had a deeper appreciation for what Facilities did for my university; in fact it had nudged me in the direction of working in a facilities management
position once I graduate. But none of my work in facilities seemed
legitimized until I went to the PCAPPA Conference.

From the start of the conference with a Women’s in Facilities mixer to end with an Awards dinner, I was surrounded by professionals who were passionate about facilities. Whether they were facilities directors, project managers, contractors or suppliers; each person was eager to share with me where they  came from, their jobs, and what they aspire to accomplish, and even give some helpful advice. From sitting in educational sessions to electric scootering to dinner with new friends, the PCAPPA Conference offered opportunities for networking, learning and socializing in the professional world that most students are never exposed to otherwise. My hope is that not only will more students attend the PCAPPA Conference and get more involved in facilities; but they will have as good of an experience as I did meeting new people and expanding my knowledge on the many aspects of facilities profession.