By Joyce Jackson
How does a person go from earning a degree in Sports Management to working in the Building Management Field? In Irfan Toskic’s case, it was primarily related to relocating from Belgrade, Serbia to New York City.
Irfan grew up in Serbia and received his Sports Management degree in 2011. Shortly afterward, Irfan’s uncle supported his relocation to New York City. As a top executive in a large property management firm, his uncle was able to provide him with opportunities to learn all levels of working with buildings. From those early experiences in property management, Irfan learned a broad set of skills needed to manage a building, from compliance and insurance to the maintenance work that operations staff do in the building.
Since his early beginning, Irfan has worked as a Superintendent in all building types including Rental apartments, Condominiums, and Commercial buildings in various areas of New York City. After ten years of working as a building superintendent, Irfan decided he wanted to have more challenges in his work. He applied and was hired for a management position at International House. His goal in the position is to assist with strategic planning and decision-making for the building and to bring new ideas for enhancements.
As a professional property manager, Irfan sees many benefits of training and takes advantage of any opportunity to expand his knowledge. Having completed all available training through SEIU local 32BJ as well as the NY Association of Realty Managers (NYARM) Certificate, Irfan was eager to find additional training. He found CUNY Building Performance Lab courses and enrolled in several classes including Building Operator Training, Gas Safety, and various energy-management classes. He is now continuing his studies in Project Management at Cornell University.
Irfan found training through the CUNY Building Performance Lab beneficial in several ways. The instructors are highly knowledgeable with both a background in the field and credentials to back it up. The price of the classes he took from CUNY-BPL—free—was also a bonus. In addition, Irfan enjoyed the way the classes’ design encouraged communication and interaction among the participants as well as with the instructors. Other important learning outcomes that Irfan identified from the class include reviewing correct terminology as well as institutional communications related to building performance. Irfan was so impressed with the CUNY-BPL classes he completed that he is working with BPL to schedule classes at International House for the staff that he now supervises.