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UTSA Online graduate, Shalita Myrick at a construction site.

Updated: October 12, 2023

Shalita Myrick

M.S. in Facility Management

UTSA Online Class of 2022

Not everyone knows exactly what career they want to pursue when they start college. And sometimes, even those who have career goals later realize they have a different dream. That’s what happened to Shalita Myrick early in her journey.

In Fall 2022, Shalita became UTSA Online’s first graduate from the Master of Science in Facility Management program. Her life looks very different from what she thought it would when she graduated high school.

Before she found her calling in facility management, Shalita had plans to become a lawyer. But as she graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, she realized it wasn’t the right path for her. Although she moved to Los Angeles with politics in mind, she worked in tech sales for a few years before discovering what would become her career.

“My old boss used to say ‘nobody dreams of becoming a facilities manager, it’s just something you stumble into,’” said Shalita. “I laugh at that because I did stumble into it, but I liked it so much I decided to pursue it academically and to really support my career in it.”

As a project manager for facilities infrastructure, Shalita sees how her work helps people every day. That’s her passion. That’s why she goes to work every day.

“Service has always been important,” commented Shalita. “I think it really all comes from a personal and family background, rooted in struggle, but primarily in love. You know, we had a very giving and supportive community who saw a family in need and did not let us fail.”

A Busy Lifestyle

As a project manager at UT Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), Shalita and her supervisor began discussing her future, with talks centered around her personal development as well as how she could achieve her career goals. But Shalita wasn’t looking for just any school. She needed one that fit her busy schedule.

“When I interviewed at UTSW, I was very open that my goal was to take her job when she was done, so my boss knew that that my goal was to be the director of Facilities Management and Building Services,” shared Shalita. “We both knew that whether I was on the academic or healthcare side, there were things that I needed to do and one was going back to school.”

She was searching for the perfect program when Dave Riker, a faculty member with the UTSA Online’s Facility Management program, emailed Shalita’s supervisor about the 100% Online Facility Management Graduate Certificate program.

Dave has more than 40 years of experience in engineering, facility management, and construction. With contacts in both the IFMA and APPA (Leadership in Educational Facilities), he is in constant communication with industry leaders across the nation. He connects busy adults, like Shalita, who are searching for a flexible program in Facility Management to UTSA’s 100% Online Facility Management Master’s and Certificate programs.

The Right Program at the Right Time

As a project manager, wife and dog mom, Shalita’s life is busy. She wakes up around 4:15 a.m. and arrives at the office by 6:30 a.m. Her days are often filled with walking project sites, setting project schedules, and attending meetings. She’s usually asleep by 9 p.m., worn out from a long day. Once she learned about UTSA Online’s program and the flexibility it would provide her, she knew it was the perfect fit.

“I knew that I was looking for education in my field, and I wasn’t sure what format that would take,” said Shalita. “When I saw that this program was online and therefore flexible, and it was asynchronous so I could do my work whether I wake up at four o’clock in the morning or wait until late in the evening, I knew it was for me.”

Shalita enrolled in a course for the Facility Management Graduate Certificate in 2020. When the program expanded, she continued and earned her Master of Science in Facility Management degree in Fall 2022.

Personal and Professional Growth

From taking classes like Facilities Management Professional Trends to studying with world-renowned faculty, Shalita learned so much – and took it with her. Following a move to Houston in 2021, Shalita became the senior project manager for Facilities Operations at Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH). In fact, once she graduated, she began implementing her Capstone project at THC. She attributes this success to finding a flexible and robust program.

To this day, Shalita is grateful for the email Dave sent out about the program. She’s thankful he recruited her and mentored her. She knows that UTSA Online was the right fit for her and her busy lifestyle.

“I feel like it found me,” added Shalita. “It really was the right choice for my life and my lifestyle. And it furthered my knowledge in what I already do and helped me be even more clear about what it is that I want for my career. So my conversations [with my bosses] are still the same. Someday I’m going to take your job. But now I know why and what’s expected of me to get there.”

Shalita was right. The program prepared her for the next step in her career. In April 2023, she accepted a position as Principal Project Manager at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She has a new boss and new goals. But after studying at UTSA Online, she knows she’s ready to continue working towards her Bold Future.

UTSA Online Facility Management Memberships

In addition to all she has accomplished in her career, Shalita is the Young Professionals Chair of the International Facility Management Association Academic Facilities Council (AFC) Board.

Do you want to find success in your facility management career too? As a UTSA Online student in the Master of Science in Facility Management program, you’ll be eligible for the following benefits:

Interested in UTSA Online?

If you are interested in Facility Management or any other of our 100% online programs, you can contact our enrollment team:

Online Undergraduate Programs: | 210-458-4000

Online Graduate Programs: | 210-458-4400

Learn More About UTSA Online’s M.S. in Facility Management