Need a bed adjustment? Put in a maintenance request. Blew a fuse because you tried to plug 12 strands of lights into one electrical socket? Put in a maintenance request. Attempted cardio kickboxing in your room and broke your dresser? Yes, you can put in a maintenance request for that too.
Maybe you logged on to Live On, sent in your request, left for class, came back to everything perfectly repaired and never thought twice about it. Or maybe you paused a moment and did think about it. Who was that incredibly efficient superhero who swooped in and cleaned up the evidence of my mistake before my roommate could see it?
One hero was willing to remove her mask and reveal her true identity: Megan Kline, a level-four facilities student supervisor at the University Apartments.
So what does it take to become a superhero – or, in RHS terms, a supervisor?
Kline said she started out as a general facilities worker, but in just two years she climbed the ranks to a student supervisor who oversees an entire team of her peers.
“Promotional opportunities came up super fast,” said Kline. “I have been a team member since May of 2017. I was a level one. Then in August of 2017, I became a level three at Mason/Abbot. And then April of 2018 I became a level four here.”
Together, Kline and her team work to make the on-campus living experience as smooth as possible. Through lots of training and hard work, the student team members become knowledgeable about cleaning and repair procedures to help ease student stress when concerns do arise. Kline said that one of her favorite parts of the job is being in a comforting role for students when they’re away from home.
In fact, being that person for other students is Kline’s way of “paying it forward.” As a transfer student, when Kline came to Michigan State, she didn’t know many people. At the recommendation of a full-time on-campus team member, Kline said she decided to apply for a position with RHS Facilities.
“I wanted to get more involved with campus since I was transferring here. So [facilities] gave me an opportunity to get involved,” said Kline. “It was my first real campus job and my first job anywhere … I was nervous, but it was super easy to adapt. Everyone was very welcoming … It’s just a lot of laughs and getting work done – it’s fun.”
Kline also mentioned how her supervisors have supported her along the way and constantly encouraged her to apply for promotions. She said that, because of their support, there was not a single time during the promotion process where she wasn’t sure what to do next.
“They took me under their wing and showed me ‘here’s the next step’ in getting promoted. They’ve just been really good mentors, and they walked me down the whole facilities path,” said Kline. “They were like, ‘here’s how you do this, and here’s a step up from there’ and they guided me in academics and just life. They’ve almost been like big sisters in a way.”
Kline said the supervisors she has had have also served as a guide to the type of supervisor she’d like to be for her team.
“As a supervisor you have to motivate people, and at times it’s hard. But you have to find ways to make sure they’re feeling included and that their work is worthy and that it’s helping people,” she said.
Kline also said that the experience she has gained will transfer to any job she decides to tackle in the future. The most important piece, she said, was learning the value of positive communication. “Motivating people and making sure they know that they matter ... and being able to lead people. Those are the biggest things.”
According to Kline, her facilities team quickly became a second family to her, and she truly values the experiences she has gained working in RHS. Not only has she grown professionally, but she also shared, with a smile, how she instantly gained friends her first summer working on campus. Kline said she would encourage anyone to apply so that they can have the experiences that she has had.
“I love RHS, it’s given me so many opportunities,” said Kline. “I’ve met some of the best people I know and a lot of people have said, ‘I will be your reference when it comes to grad school, med school or any other job.’ It gives you a great network of people.
So just find a job that makes you most comfortable. If it’s facilities, if it’s in the caf, wherever ... Just find what makes you happy. Having an on-campus job is just really nice.”