Farhah Rahman talks about how facilities management opened up her way to work in an MNC.

12 May 2017

Student Stories 2017

Farhah Rahman
Civil engineer
PGDFM 2016-17

Placed in CBRE in Facilities Management

Farhah Rahman from West Bengal has the unique distinction of being an only girl in the PGDFM batch. A civil engineer, she decided to pursue facilities management in order to fulfil her dreams of getting placement in an international company. Read on to know she opted out of a well-paying job to get into facilities management.

“I belong to West Bengal and am a civil engineer graduate. I worked for two years in Diploma Engineering College as a lecturer but soon realized that this was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I started searching for courses which were different, unique and supported technical as well as managerial background. I came to know of PGDFM from the RICS SBE website. It is a one year program post which I will be placed in an international company. Since the duration was only of a year and I wanted to work in an international company, I chose this course.

I liked the fact that FM has elements like HVAC, electrical distribution, space management and housekeeping. FM has a lot of fields to explore so it is not a boring job. One is not stuck in one kind of a role only. Rather one has to be specialized in various tasks so I found this really interesting and challenging. Cost estimation is also related to engineering so I thought that this will be right course for me.

I would like to work in space management. I want to work with all the softwares which are running to manage the building like CMMS, CAFM etc. Skills learnt from civil engineering like cost estimation, project management, financial analysis will help me in my career. I found the subject of Building Services really helpful. Other important subjects are sustainability which is important as it is related to environment and customer relationship management because we have to deal with customers.

What appeals to me about FM is the challenge to maintain a building, to deal with clients, to satisfy customers. Whenever we go to malls, we always get a wow experience. This wow factor is created by people in facilities management. It is a demanding domain where you have to keep a place presentable and efficiently running 24x7. One can do innovations, additions and experiment to beautify spaces which I like. This flexibility to change which is absent in the construction industry is available in FM.

To be a good facilities manager, one has to a problem solver, ready to take on challenges, an extrovert and a multi tasker. One needs to be a good planner; should have the ability to identify risks and plan accordingly. I feel that I have all these qualities. I also possess cost optimization skills which are an added advantage as budgeting is an important part of facilities management.

FM is an evergreen industry. Any time is a good time to enter as there is a lot of demand to fulfil. My dream was to work in an international company and RICS SBE has helped me get closer to my goal. The projects I have handled have taught me how to work. I am mindful of doing work in the right manner thanks to our very experienced faculty. I have technical knowledge along with practical skills which we gained from our site visits to existing and upcoming projects.

I am ready to enter the industry as an Assistant Facilities Manager. Within 5-6 years, I see myself heading a region and 10 years down the line, I plan to start my own facilities management firm. Being the only girl in the class does not really matter. Girls are naturally good managers and good at multi-tasking.  They are good at handling a lot of things at the same time. I see no reason why I cannot be successful with hard work and determination.