Project manager holds the threads in their hands on site
Timo Mäkinen works as a project manager in Kuusitunturi Lahti, a company specialised in electrical contracting in Päijät-Häme. His career choice was influenced by his father, who had always been interested in all kinds of technology.
– I studies electical installations first in vocational school. I got the feeling this is an industry of the future and keeps developing – and the hunch has proven right. After the school I got my first job at ABB, and then I continued at YIT construction company. Juha Kosonen hired me to Kuusitunturi Lahti in 2004. While I worked for 12 years in installations, I also studied at the local university of applied sciences and got an electrical engineer’s degree. After graduation, I moved to project management duties in 2016.
What’s the best part of your work?
– Every day I like to see things getting done and finished as planned. During the past few years, I have been involved in interesting projects such as the Päijät-Häme central hospital and the renovation of Lahti city hospital. As a matter of fact, hospitals are special buildings that provide electricians with demanding and challenging tasks.
– Technologies develop all the time and there are different IT and automation systems in every building. Similarly, installation methods and tools keep developing. Continuous learning is important in this profession. As systems get more complicated, you need more and different knowhow.
What is a project manager’s normal day like?
– The days vary depending on the project, but in average my work list includes project management, team management, procurement, problem-solving and planning. The normal working day starts early in the morning, and it includes following e-mails, holding site meetings as well as reviewing invoices and payments. And there is always something to check.
– The challenges today are related to the availability of workforce and also partly professional skills. When there are a lot of special systems, you need specialists to install them, or at least managers need time to give enough advice.
What would you tell someone who is planning a career?
– In this work you need, above all, pressure tolerance, decision-making ability, systematic thinking and some IT skills. My own long installation background has also proven useful. It is also important to have something else in your life apart from work. To me, it is family, camping and fishing.
– When I was studying for the degree and working full-time at the same time, it was quite a difficult combination. You must be prepared that you won’t have much free time if you study alongside work and want to graduate. I would like to thank my wife for her support and making it possible for me to study in the evenings on top of working days.