Disillusioned by tough market dynamics as he embarked on a professional career in real estate, Keystone alumni and 2019 Study Award recipient Kamal McEntee-Amziane overcame early career challenges by realising there’s more than one way to achieve your goals.
While grappling with personal questions – ‘Is this career right for me?’ ‘Can I see myself here?’ Kamal found his skills could be better focused in another area of the property sector, and a routine catch-up with Keystone Trust’s general manager Amanda Stanes opened the door to an exciting new pathway.
“Amanda suggested I explore new opportunities in the facilities management sector and put me in touch with Facilities Management Association New Zealand (FMANZ) chief executive Jo Duggan.
“The more I learnt, I found the sector incorporated a range of disciplines, with the opportunity to pursue everything from property management, and sales through managing large contracts, often with government agencies,” he says.
Demonstrating the value of Keystone’s sponsor network, Ms Stanes reached out to recent sponsorship partner Programmed Facility Management Maintenance, who were thrilled to oblige with work experience opportunities.
Henry Arundel, General Manager of Programmed Facility Management NZ, says Kamal’s tenacity and focus have been immediately impressive, standing him in great stead as he moves across different departments, gaining valuable insight into the workings of the business.
“Facilities management is a high-growth sector across Aotearoa. However, it is seldom the first career students consider. Nevertheless, it offers a wealth of opportunity for broad learning and career progression, and it has been such a privilege to share this with Kamal,” Mr Arundel says.
In addition to work experience in various teams across the Programmed Facility Management Maintenance network, Kamal has begun studying for a post-graduate diploma in Facilities Management at Massey University and says practical experience in the field has given him great context to apply his learnings from the classroom.
“I can clearly see how getting out into the field and participating in the labour side of the equation, learning from the ground up what the business does – managing timeframes, machinery, people – is directly applicable as I look to the pointier end of this practical work.”
When quizzed on the most surprising aspects of facilities management, Kamal says he has thoroughly enjoyed his time with the waste management and sanitation team.
“Those words might conjure images of garbage and bacteria, but I’ve seen first-hand how vital waste management is to a well-functioning community. This was particularly evident during recent flooding in Auckland where we picked up damaged debris from curbs, parks and community areas.”
Now on an exciting new career trajectory, Kamal exudes fresh enthusiasm and says his post-graduate studies have already been more focused and immediately relevant to his work with Programmed Facility Management Maintenance.
He encourages anyone struggling with career, professional or personal difficulties to keep an open mindset and use goal-setting to take in the bigger picture.
“If you can see yourself in a career or job 10 or 20 years from now, you’ll do whatever it takes to keep moving. But for many, that’s not the case, and it’s important to remember that there’s more than one way to get where you want to go.
“Being part of the Keystone Trust whānau has once again opened an incredible new door for me, and I am so grateful to the sponsors and team for their continued financial and pastoral support.
“I may have pivoted from real estate to facilities management, but many of my personal goals remain the same – I’ve just found another avenue to achieve them, and I believe being flexible and open to opportunities has meant I’ve landed in the right place,” Kamal says.
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