Finding exceptional employees for the apartment management industry requires educating prospective employees about the career opportunities. Lane Company, located in Georgia, is one of the founders of the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation. The main intent of this organization is to tell people about the apartment management industry and the various types of careers available in that industry.
Though the Foundation is not very old, it has raised nearly half a million dollars to further education in this area, and also to make connections with various universities in the area. The first property management courses were started at the University of Georgia, with the first class having an enrollment of one hundred and twenty students. The next semester the class had more than tripled in size, with nearly four hundred students requesting enrollment.
The class utilized the apartment management community in the area, with frequent guest lecturers from various apartment management companies within Georgia. College students are very interested in the field, and they view it as related to the hotel management industry but without many of its drawbacks, such as extremely long and varied hours. Other universities, such as Georgia Tech, also offer management courses with success.
One of the more established college programs is given at Florida State. The apartment management courses offered there are part of their residential property management major, and have an established curriculum and internship program. The program is successful enough that the college now has a job fair exclusively for the property management school
The success of this program can and does attract a number of the large regional apartment management companies as participants. All of the prospective employees that attend the job fair have already made property management their intended career and are very excited about it. It is so encouraging to see so many young people actively interested in the details of each apartment management company.
In addition to coursework in apartment management offered by the colleges, internships are also a great way to get students interested in an management career. Again, using Lane Company as an example, they offered a thirteen week internship over the summer. Seven interns enrolled in the program this past summer, and these interns applied after they heard about the great time the interns had during the previous summer.
This particular summer internship program is much more than just a summer of management leasing or busy work. It is a very structured program that exposes the students to the major tasks of each different position within the company. It does include weeks with leasing agents, with maintenance employees, and even with the accountants and construction crews on new apartment complexes.
Finding the employees of tomorrow requires educating the college students of today in the many opportunities of an management career. Each of the many apartment management communities should consider giving their time and expertise to the local colleges. This might be in the form of an occasional guest lecture, or working with some professors to design and implement a great summer internship program. It is worth it.
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