Facilities & Operations in Student Housing – with Patrick Shanahan

What does it look like to serve students from the facilities and operations side of student housing? What does it take to keep a residence hall complex well-maintained and running smoothly?

Patrick Shanahan is the Director of Facilities and Administration at The Heights, Montclair State University’s newest residence halls complex. Patrick has worked at The Heights since it opened its doors in 2011, serving as Office Coordinator and Assistant Director of Operations before taking on his current role two years ago. Today, Patrick is responsible for the facilities, maintenance and custodial work at The Heights, where he serves 1,978 residents across eight buildings.

On this episode of the podcast, Patrick joins Leigh Anne to explain how he was introduced to student housing as an undergrad desk assistant and how serving in a supervisory role in Residence Life sparked his interest in a career in higher ed. Patrick shares the challenges he faces in facilities and operations, describing what he’s learned about adapting to change and educating students who are away from home for the first time. Listen in to understand the rewards of building relationships with your team and seeing them succeed and get Patrick’s advice around connecting with others in the campus community.

Topics Covered 

  • Patrick’s role in overseeing the facilities, maintenance and custodial work at The Heights
  • How Patrick was introduced to student housing as an undergrad desk assistant
  • How a friend encouraged Patrick to apply for a supervisory role in Residence Life and how that experience sparked his interest in student housing as a career
  • The AHA moment walking on campus with his wife when Patrick saw a future in student housing
  • How Patrick and his team are navigating the stresses of COVID
  • The challenges Patrick faces in educating residents who are living away from home for the first time
  • What makes building relationships with his staff and seeing them succeed the most rewarding part of Patrick’s job
  • The biggest lesson Patrick has learned around adapting to change and to the needs of the students
  • Patrick’s advice for aspiring student housing professionals on getting involved in the community

Connect with Patrick Shanahan

Connect with Leigh Anne