Career story: Material choices with care

Johanna Halonen makes material choises for new homes and handles material alterations that our customers want to have made with care and as agreed.

Name, title, job and age?

Johanna Halonen, Alterations Engineer, Building construction, Finland, the housing unit, 30 years.

What kind of training and education do you have?

I have a Bachelor's Degree in Materials Technology and Surface Engineering.

How did you end up in your position?

I really wanted to work in the technical field. I examined my strengths and the things I value in work and hoped to find independent and challenging employment. In addition, my study programme was very versatile, enabling me to work in many different fields and positions.

I joined Lemminkäinen in 2014 as a Production Service Engineer. That job was extremely rewarding. I learned a lot and built a strong foundation for continuing my career at Lemminkäinen. I reached my current position when a substitute was sought for a colleague's maternity leave. I decided to seize this interesting opportunity. Furthermore, I was assigned the responsibility of acting as the main user and developer of the Nettikoti and Kotikauppa housing programmes.

What is your typical working day like?

No two days are alike. However, I usually start my day by checking my inbox. It is important to react to customers' questions or requests for quotes as quickly as possible. As we work with customers, sales team, design management, construction site organisation, architects, designers, procurement, subcontractors and suppliers, the things that we may have to comment on during the day can vary greatly.

My main job is choosing the interior materials for our apartments and making plans for the alterations that our customers want to have made. This must be done while at the same time ensuring that we adhere to regulations, rules and good building practices. The most important task for me is to see to it that the customers' interior decoration and material choices are realised as agreed.

What do you like most about your job?

The job is versatile and brings along different challenges every day – you definitely don't get bored easily. I like the fact that my work is independent and full of responsibility. I get to decide on many things, such as the interior materials used in my projects, and comment on architectural drawings, for instance. However, there is great responsibility involved. We must do what we promise, and information must flow well.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Unfortunately, being in a hurry poses challenges and kills creativity. If I make a mistake in my job, it almost always results in extra costs. Even though my work is independent, it is difficult to plan working days ahead. There's always a need for prioritisation.

What kind of person does well in your role?

An organised, efficient and calm person. A good memory and sense of humour are a bonus. You definitely must be able to get along with different kinds of people.