Staff stories: Diverse tasks motivate a site manager trainee

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Tommi Saarivuori, 24, from Consti Renovation Contracting meets us at the Haliskylä building site in Turku, in Southwest Finland. The project concerns a student housing complex that consists of 14 blocks of flats owned by the Student Village Foundation of Turku (TYS). The office is located outside one of the buildings, in a traditional site hut. Let us go in to hear about Tommi’s work.

What is a site manager trainee’s typical day like?

We start work at 7 a.m., as is typical in the building sector. Some days, I do not even have time to stop by at the office before my phone rings and I need to take care of something at the site. Usually, however, we take a moment to plan the day ahead over a cup of coffee. Each day is different; there is no set routine.

How long have you been working in construction?

I have been working in the sector ever since I was a teenager in vocational school. I started working at Consti in the autumn of 2014 when I was employed as a site manager trainee to complete a work placement for my studies. At the end of the year, I will graduate from the Turku University of Applied Sciences with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. I just handed in the paperwork, so I am already on the home stretch. Finishing my studies really is a weight off my shoulders!

What does your work include at the Consti site in Haliskylä? Have you faced any particular challenges?

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In Haliskylä, we are converting shared student flats into studios. I assist the site management team and perform general on-site management tasks. My specific responsibilities include handovers and finishing work. I am also involved in demolition, diamond drilling and sawing, meaning that I mark the places where the demolition team needs to make holes and openings, for example for air ducts, in accordance with the HVAC and architectural drawings. Sometimes young age can present certain challenges for a site manager, but such occasions have been rare. And I gain experience each day.

Tell us about the best parts of your work. Why do you like your job?

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The best thing is that the days are so different: I get to work outdoors, move around the site and be in charge of various tasks. The diversity keeps the job interesting. This definitely beats office work, even if I occasionally have to get my boots muddy. This is precisely the kind of work that I want to do.

After finishing your working day, what do you do during your free time?

We finish work around 3.30 p.m. I have not had a problem with leaving the job behind at the end of the work day. Instead, I have been given just enough responsibility. In my free time, I try to exercise as much as possible. However, evenings tend to fly by while spending time with my daughter – that is the best counterbalance to work.

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