Makenzi Sargent’s curiosity for learning and improving processes plays a huge part in our communities’ successes, especially when it comes to our transition to Entrata. After beginning her career as a Campus Advantage Community Assistant in 2010, Makenzi worked her way up through Operations before shifting directions to the Management Systems team. In her current position, she is responsible for coordinating the deployment and support of software systems that our corporate and site teams use daily to help them run smoothly. Read on to learn more about Makenzi and why her passion for problem-solving is the ultimate motivation.
What is your professional background?
Before Management Systems, I got a lot of experience in Operations. I held roles from Community Assistant to General Manager at our communities before becoming an Operations Specialist. My original plan was to stay in Operations, but throughout those positions, I learned a lot about the systems and really enjoyed using them. So, after Ops Specialist, that’s when I switched over to Management Systems.
Do you have to be pretty tech-savvy to get into Management Systems?
A lot of it you learn along the way, but you have to really understand the systems we use and be curious and patient. You have to have an interest in learning why things work the way they do in order to troubleshoot issues, brainstorm new processes, and support our communities.
What first attracted you to work for Campus Advantage?
Like a lot of people who end up working in student housing, I was first attracted to [Campus Advantage] because of the perks of our Community Assistant program — working where you live, getting to meet a lot of people, and of course, a rent discount. Then, around a year and a half in, when I went to my first Experience Conference, I thought, “OK, this might be more than just a part-time job while I’m in school,” and started to look at it more as a career.
What does your current role look like?
I oversee the Management Systems department — that’s myself, Kim, and Sarah. We currently manage all our RealPage systems, but right now, we’re working heavily on transitioning all communities to Entrata. So, our day-to-day is a little different right now than it was last year or will be in the future. But we also are responsible for things such as webinars, creating policies, and support requests for the systems that we manage.
What three words best describe you (inside or outside of work)?
I would say empathetic, easygoing, and curious.
If you had to choose one core value that best represents you, what would it be and why?
I would pick passion! I think that’s what’s kept me in student housing and with Campus Advantage; I enjoy the work I do and am passionate about improving things for our communities.
What is one of your favorite moments with Campus Advantage so far?
Anytime I look back on memories with Campus Advantage, I always think about times that I’ve gotten to travel. Whether it’s the FOCUS Conference or a smaller trip to a community or Austin. I’m sure part of that is because I’m remote! But anytime we get to travel together, I think those are the best moments to work together and experience the culture in person.
What are three words you would use to describe our Campus Advantage culture?
Fun, welcoming, and evolving.
What motivates you to get up for work every day?
Right now, there’s so much going on with the Entrata migration — the software that all communities use on site to manage their residents’ leases, oversee maintenance, accounts payable, and so many other aspects. I’m always working with Kim, Sarah, and the rest of the Entrata migration team. Knowing that we all have a lot of things to do pushes me to do my best.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I’m located in Kansas City and spend a lot of time with my family and my dog, Max. I’m also a big Chiefs fan — in the fall, I go to all the games with my dad and sister.
If your life had a soundtrack, name some songs that would be on it?
“I Was Here” by Beyonce — my goal is for that to be accurate!