Career as Construction Manager.

Career start as Construction Manager at C + P.

A report from everyday working life.

Lukas Mai and Julian Arnold both are Construction Managers at C + P Turnkey Construction at our Angelburg location. Both studied Civil Engineering at the Technical University in Central Hesse ("THM") in Gießen. Both wrote their thesis with us – with Julian it was the master thesis, with Lukas the bachelor thesis. Lukas has been with us as a Construction Manager since August 2019, Julian since October 2020.

We had both of them in a double interview and wanted to know, among other things, why they decided for this job, what is particularly fun in everyday life and whether there are any challenges? Above all, we were of course interested: What tips can the two give other students and graduates for starting a career?

Can you describe a typical working day as a Construction Manager?

Lukas:

“Since I currently spend a lot of time on a construction site in Nuremberg, my working days often differ greatly. There can be no question of “the marmot greets every day”. I am mainly concerned with coordinating the subcontractors and monitoring the quality of the construction work delivered. It is often important to solve problems and details of the most varied kinds in a timely manner. In addition, there is, for example, the preparation of tenders and supplementary offers, participation in award discussions with potential subcontractors and meetings with the client. If there is a need, one or the other construction work is done by ourselves. Boredom never arises."

Julian:

“As a Construction Manager, there is no such thing as a typical working day, and that's the great thing about the job. Every day brings something new and if one thing is clear early in the morning, it is that variety is on the to-do list. I currently have a construction site near our company headquarters, so I often spend half of the day in the office and the other half on the construction site. But no matter where I am, communication is an essential part of my day. There is a lot to agree on and coordinate so that all the cogs in the project work together smoothly. In the case of large projects, you often share the various tasks with other Construction or Project Managers; in the case of somewhat smaller construction projects – as in my current case – you take on the tasks yourself."

What makes working as a Construction Manager so interesting and diversified?

Julian:

“Right now, as I am still at the beginning of my career, every day brings a new challenge – but in a positive way! Due to the large number of trades to be coordinated, you have to think your way around many topics and keep a few things on your screen. There are lots of interfaces in a wide variety of areas. Everything is included, from “I sit at my desk for the whole day” to “I walk across the construction site in the pouring rain”. But of course the days with bright sunshine predominate ;-)"

Lukas:

“By taking care of the individual trades, you deal with many different topics and technical requirements. In addition, you also work with very different types and nationalities of people. Not only is that a lot of fun, it also makes the job even more exciting for me personally. As a Construction Manager, you gradually look after various construction sites, so that you are working at new locations over time, you never stay too long in one place and you are constantly allowed to face new tasks."

Are there things that are particularly challenging in this job?

Lukas:

“What offers a lot of variety is often challenging at the same time. I would like to refer to the answer to the previous question. Because the job is very complex, it is also very challenging in places."

Julian:

“I can only agree with that. I was just talking about the interlocking cogs. In the course of a construction project, of course, they can get caught up and then it's time to get the whole thing up and running again in a solution-oriented manner. To do this, you have to know how things are connected and, in addition to all specialist knowledge, also approach tasks and problems pragmatically."

What is the most fun?

Lukas:

“Solving arising problems appeals to me and I particularly enjoy it. In addition, I am always excited to observe the constant progress of a construction site. Where at the beginning an undeveloped site lay fallow, at the end a finished building is put into operation. Having contributed to it together with your colleagues brings a good feeling. Since the progress is often clear from week to week, there is no lack of motivation and you are happy to continue facing the tasks ahead."

Julian:

“Obviously, we both have fun doing the same things :-). I agree that it's great that at the end of each week you can really see what you've achieved. And if everything went exactly as you worked out and planned in the team, you like to come back to work the following week and keep going full throttle."

When did it become clear to you that you would like to work as a Construction Manager?

Julian:

“When I was a schoolboy I did an internship at C + P Turnkey Construction. It was clear: the construction industry and I fit together! And that's why we continued purposefully in this direction. After graduating from high school, I started my studies and specialized in Construction Management because it was clear to me early on that the variety of tasks being a Construction Manager suited me."

Lukas:

“It was actually a little different for me. I only made the decision to into Construction Management towards the end of my studies. When I started my career, I wanted to get to know the broadest possible spectrum in construction and acquire practical knowledge. Since I didn't see myself doing a nine-to-five job in the office and would also describe myself as an open and communicative person, I could well imagine working in Construction Management. So it came about that I applied for a job advertisement in turnkey construction and so far have not regretted it."

In your opinion, what are the prerequisites for a job as a Construction Manager?

Julian:

„Spontaneously, I would say: open-mindedness, communicational skills, confident demeanor and self-confidence as well as professional competence“

Lukas:

„I totally agree with that, however, would like to add: technical interest, structured working and thinking and being a teamplayer“

What do you like best about working at C + P? Is there anything you would like to highlight?

Lukas:

“I would definitely like to highlight the working atmosphere. Since I have already written my bachelor thesis on a topic within turnkey construction, I was able to gather some impressions in advance. These have more than solidified after the start of my employment relationship. The good cooperation among the colleagues, the flat hierarchies and the trust placed in us create a very special working environment that I absolutely would not want to miss."

Julian:

“It's exactly the same with me. A lot of trust is placed in you and you can work very independently from the start. At the same time, you get all the support you need. No matter who you ask for advice: You will always get a detailed and helpful answer."

Looking back at your own career start: is there anything that you would give other students and graduates to take along? Tips? Things that need to be considered from your point of view?

Julian:

“My various internships and working student positions were very helpful to me personally. Therefore, my recommendation would be to seek practical relevance as early as possible during your studies. This helps for later career entry, but also during the studies itself, when you can see how the theory you have learned is applied in practice."

Lukas:

" 'Anyone who asks is a fool for five minutes. If you don't ask, you're a fool forever.‘ Especially in the immediate period after starting your career, you are often confronted with many new and sometimes unknown details and topics that you may not have learned at all or only insufficiently during your studies. You should always approach colleagues openly with questions in order to benefit from their often many years of experience. I also think it's important to always treat other people with respect. It does not matter whether it is the client, colleagues or workers on the construction site. A respectful togetherness is often the basis for success."