A facility manager's journey from Intern to Vice President

July 01, 2021

If you surveyed kindergarteners on their choice of future careers, very few would say I want to manage buildings.

Facility Management (FM) is a profession for those who love puzzles as much as they love helping people. It is made up of fixers, problem solvers, and innovators each with their own story of how they made FM a destination. Once you arrive, you are quickly brought into a community where lifting others up is as important as keeping a building running.VP

Jade Anderson, Vice President Facilities – West for Sodexo Universities, found Facilities Management at the end of a winding journey. Growing up on a cattle ranch, working in the field with his hands, he knew he wasn't bound for a desk job. After traveling abroad, Jade enrolled as a Japanese major at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Quickly, he realized that he needed a career path that was more active – a profession where he could think out of the box. After going through a course catalog, he stumbled upon BYU's Facility Management major.

Sodexo came to my campus to speak about careers. So, I applied for an internship…and was rejected, said Anderson. For most, that would have been the end of their story, but not for Anderson. Come spring, I reached out again and told them that I would like to intern with Sodexo. They just happened to have an opening. That was the key for me to be accepted for an internship.

After graduation, he received an offer to join Sodexo in a hands-on training program. Not only did his skills increase, but he began to understand that FM was not just a profession about buildings, it was about helping others. I was propped up by mentors who pointed me in the right direction. They helped me build a network of people to counsel, bounce ideas, and helped me take creative approaches to solve problems.

After six months, he received his first permanent placement in the Universities segment where he was recently promoted to Vice President.

I was surrounded by very supportive people. Their advice and support gave me the confidence to grow. Now, I get to build a region and set the tone as a culture of collaboration, reflects Anderson.

What should the next generation do to get ahead in the field? Anderson gives this advice: If I’ve learned anything it is that you can't wait around. You need to identify what you want, your goals and not take no for an answer. Pursuit makes you desirable.

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