Unique Career Aspiration: Shawn Zachariah – Retirement Home Manager

Unique Career Aspiration: Shawn Zachariah - Retirement Home Manager

Shawn Zachariah

TIMELESS FUN: Senior Shawn Zachariah serves a sundae to a resident of Chesnut Square at The Glen retirement facility, where he has been working as a waiter since last year. The close connections he has made with the residents has inspired him to peruse a career in healthcare administration.

Calli Haramaras and Madison O'Brien, asst. features editor, co-features editor

Six months ago, senior Shawn Zachariah decided to pursue a career that he had never considered before. After beginning his job as a waiter and host at Chestnut Square at The Glen retirement facility over a year ago, Zachariah realized his love for working with senior citizens.

When Zachariah took the job, he had no previous experience working with senior citizens. However, Zachariah said he took the position because he had been looking for a job.

“At first someone just offered me a job, and I needed a job, and that’s how I fell in love with all the people there,” Zachariah said. “It’s such a nice community, and I found out that I wanted to do something with [senior citizens]. I love the people, and they really do like me too, and I do really get along with them.”

After working there for over a year now, Zachariah has decided to pursue a career in healthcare administration, such as owning a hospital or managing a retirement facility. Although his career plans now are very different from his previous decision to pursue engineering, Zachariah said he’s looking forward to doing something he loves.

“They all seemed to like me, like they consider me their grandkid,” Zachariah said.

In addition to his excitement, Zachariah is concerned about the large responsibility that comes along with running such a large community. However, he feels his passion will outweigh his concerns.

“Every job has a responsibility, but knowing that you have to manage the elderly is a little bit more of a responsibility, and I feel like I’d be responsible for every single person in that building,” Zachariah said. “It’s a little bit scary to think about, but if I enjoy what I do then it wouldn’t really matter.”

Unsure of where he will be going to school next year, Zachariah said he’s deciding between University of Illinois at Chicago or going to Oakton Community College for a year to save money.

According to Zachariah, he will first get his bachelor’s degree in computer or mechanical engineering and then get his prerequisites for health care administration in graduate school. Zachariah has decided to get his bachelor’s degree in engineering as a safe step to be financially secure in case his plans for health care administration fall through.

Zachariah is hopeful for the future and excited to pursue a career in something that he loves to do.