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Employee Spotlight: Sarah Blue, Development Program Manager

Name: Sarah Blue

Title: Development Program Manager

QTS location: Atlanta, GA

Years with QTS: 3 years

 

What is your favorite part of working for QTS?

I love the fast-paced, complex work environment but the female leaders in the Property Development department are my favorite part of QTS. Upon my start with QTS, it was important for me to find leaders I could look up to, respect, and develop strong relationships that can withstand the test of time. I’ve been blessed with two superstar mentors, Laney Marinich and Jean Ann Scharer, who have coached me through both my career with QTS and navigating life with my family. Each day is filled with new challenges and problems that we get to solve together, but these women empower me and enable me to serve as a leader on a variety of important client-facing and internal projects. Because of their strength and guidance, I’m excited to wake up each day and give my all to this role to support their success too.

 

What is a day in the life of your position like?

A day in the life of a Development Program Manager is never mundane and each day often looks completely different from the previous. Within a single day, I drive projects on over half a dozen campuses and impact the design and construction activities for multiple Hyperscale customers. A day may be comprised of leading customer-facing design meetings, estimating fit-out costs for 99+ MW tenant builds, predevelopment efforts for new greenfields & substations, organizing our Freedom Standards Committee, and management of existing infrastructure (electrical and mechanical) improvements.

 

What passions do you have within and outside of work?

Within work, I am passionate about the projects where I get to design and build spaces for the industry’s most sophisticated customers. Day to day issues management and complex problem solving to ultimately deliver these spaces under tight timelines and budget constraints is where I thrive!

Outside of work, I love my Pure Barre community. Pure Barre is a low-impact full body workout, and it’s the one hour of my day where I get to tune out the rest of the world, indulge in self-care, and focus on my physical and mental wellbeing.

 

Tell us about your growth within QTS since you were hired.

I started in 2018 as a Project Manager. While the scopes and budgets of the projects were smaller and the schedules weren’t as compressed, these projects still had a big impact on the QTS business. My projects included security upgrades (ex: the new perimeter fence at Suwanee), logistical upgrades (ex: new freight elevator and Operations offices in Atlanta), and entitlements efforts for what is now permitted to be our RIC2 build-to-suit hyperscale campus.

In 2021 I was promoted to Program Manager where scopes and budgets grew significantly, as did the visibility and priority of my jobs. In the last year alone, I’ve been given the opportunity to deliver $50M+ in development capital projects and lead rezoning and entitlement processes for 500MW+ across multiple data center campuses.

What kind of advice do you have for women looking to get into a field like Property Development?

If any women out there have an interest in complex, fast-paced problem solving with amazing female leaders to enable your success, Property Development might be the right department for you. Don’t be afraid that your specific degree or background limits you. At first, I wasn’t sure if a girl with a chemical engineering degree had any business in the data center industry. But, over time I’ve learned Property Development is not all that different from navigating a complicated engineering exam question with a time limit. Focus on your organization, time management, and communication skills and market your problem-solving ability… you just may land yourself a role in Prop Dev. Oh- did I mention we’re hiring?!

 

What does a perfect day outside the office look like for you?

My perfect day outside of the office starts with some morning coffee in a to-go container and a couple mile walk with my goldendoodle, Basil. Then, I’m hitting the beach with my husband and relaxing with a good book while soaking up the sun!