Facilities Career Development Expo 2016

By Sana Ullah, 2016 FM Intern

Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, April 13, 2016

Before the start of my summer internship with the Smithsonian Institution’s Office of Facilities Management and Reliability (OFMR), I had the privilege to attend the FM Career Development Expo this year while meeting my supervisor for the first time. Having never seen the inside of the Arts & Industries Building and barely knowing much about the facility management team and profession, it was a quick, informative, and fun mini-orientation to my internship project: a short video on Building Service Workers (BSW) and their importance to the Smithsonian mission.

At the Expo, I had the opportunity to visit each facility specialists’ showcase. I learned about the importance of thermography and how buildings—let alone—room temperatures were monitored carefully due to the sensibility of artifacts. I learned that Building Service Workers (BSW) needed to have versatile skills and training to handle complex cleaning and maintenance challenges. Attending this event got me excited about my upcoming project and allowed me to learn about how complex the field of facility management is.

What is the FM Career Expo?
The Facilities Career Development Expo is a networking and informative event open to facility students and educators interested in learning about working in the facility management profession. Visitors had the opportunity to listen to several lectures about how to apply for facility jobs in the federal government, how to confidently interview, and had the opportunity for resume review sessions with Smithsonian HR experts.

However, the Expo is not only for those looking to land a job immediately. Internships are offered as well and students are encouraged to apply so that they may hone down their skills for a potential and future federal facilities position. This year a student attendee from the So Others Might Eat (SOME) program was offered a Technical Track internship position at the Smithsonian, and was recognized for his accomplishments during his internship.