Through the years I have learned that it is difficult to get a feel for a candidate when hiring for a position. Anything can be written down on a resume, current employers are very hesitant to say anything negative or too positive during the reference check process, and some people “interview well.” When I was first interviewed for my current position, it was difficult to put my true years of life experience on paper. I was told that I did not have the previous documented experience on my resume for the position level I had applied for. I ended up taking a lesser position, hoping I could prove my expertise along the way. When I heard about the CEFP, it seemed like a good way to document my actual Facilities Management experience in higher education beyond my own words.
I am used to going to week long seminars for intensive training on a subject and then taking a test for the certification at the end (e.g. AEE’s CEM and CFP). The CEFP course was different… It was tough, but well worth it. I had to discipline myself to study regularly over a longer period of time. I did not study every day as I have a life at work and home, but I did have to block out time during select evenings and weekends to keep up with the schedule and not fall behind. There was nothing easy about this program. It challenged me to think. It was not rote learning, it was about applying sound principles, some new and some already learned through years of experience. While studying, I constantly learned new things, even in the areas that I was already strong in. I just finished the Leadership Academy, and I could see how also going through the Institute for Facilities Management could give you a leg up on the content, as both of these programs point towards the CEFP certification.
The CEFP has helped me to look beyond my specialized area of expertise (MEP Trades). There is so much great information in the program, but one of my biggest takeaways is a better understanding of change management in an organization. I considered myself somewhat of a turnaround expert in my area, but from my recent experience, I feel like I could teach a class on all of the things to do wrong while striving to make changes in a larger organization. This section of the course gave me some great tools to use going forward. Overall, I feel more prepared to manage a Facilities department and I look at each day as an opportunity to learn and gain experience to make a difference at my current location or any other that I may be at in the future.
Chris Reyes, CEFP
Assistant Director of Utilities