By Lisa Bluhm
Director of Education, BOMA/Chicago
Achieving success goes to those who have the most knowledge, expertise and credentials. This is true in the commercial real estate industry and any industry. Learn best practices, and you’ll set a career course that will lead to greater responsibilities, more challenges and higher compensation.
Through the BOMA/Chicago Foundation, those currently working in commercial real estate now have a tremendous opportunity to receive a scholarship that will cover the full cost of tuition towards earning the industry’s highest designations: The Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA).
The RPA designation program provides those interested in a career in property management with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively operate commercial buildings. Courses taught through the FMA designation program helps position facility managers as key strategic partners in achieving an organization’s overall facilities objectives.
Both designation programs are challenging, and both require dedication and commitment in terms of time and money. The BOMA/Chicago Foundation Scholarship will cover full tuition for all eight required courses. The first step to earn the Scholarship is to complete the required application forms. The application process was developed to reflect the applicant’s commitment to the commercial real estate industry and set an even playing field for all interested candidates. Completed application packets will be reviewed to ensure all eligibility criteria and requirements are met. All applicant finalists will be required to complete face-to-face interviews before a final decision is made.
Here are three strategies to consider before you begin the Scholarship application process:
- Organize and Prioritize. All applicants are required to provide the specified statements and forms of documentation outlined in the application. It will take time to gather all required information. Taking a methodical approach will help you focus and complete all steps in order of importance. Consider pursuing academic transcripts and references first; then work on elements like your Personal Statement of Financial Need. Start today because the deadline for all applications is November 1.
- Put Your Best Foot Forward. Demonstrate your professionalism and commitment when completing all applications by making sure all work is grammatically correct, clearly identified by title (“Personal Statement of Financial Need,” “Verification of Financial Need From Employer,” etc.) and accurate. Have a colleague or friend proofread your completed materials before submitting your application.
- Know Yourself and Your Audience. Let your personality come through in your work, but keep it professional. Applications will be evaluated by members of the Scholarship Subcommittee of the BOMA/Chicago Education Committee. Aim to impress them from the start, as they are charged with an important decision – selecting applicant finalists to be interviewed by the Education Committee, which will ultimately recommend the annual scholarship recipient to the BOMA/Chicago Foundation Board of Directors. The Foundation Board has final approval of all scholarship recipients. One Full Designation Scholarship is awarded each calendar year. The annual scholarship recipient will be recognized at the annual TOBY/Gold Circle Awards Gala January 26, 2012. Best of luck!
Do you have other suggestions on how to best prepare for a scholarship process like this one? Please share your thoughts. Have questions on the Scholarship program or other BOMA/Chicago Professional Development programs? Please let us know.