Staff stories: Like father, like daughter

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Aapo, 55, and Katja Tahvanainen, 25, represent two generations of Consti employees. Aapo admits he played a role in his daughter’s career choice.

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Is it a coincidence that you work in the same field?

Aapo: No, not really. After upper secondary school, Katja considered different study options. My advice was that she should go to a university of applied sciences and study construction engineering, specialising in renovation. The Finnish building stock is getting older, which means that there will be plenty to renovate and the employment outlook is good.

Katja: After upper secondary school, I was not interested in the traditionally female-dominated fields. Instead, I wanted to do something different. I drifted into the construction sector following my dad’s example, just as he had followed in his own father’s footsteps.

So it runs in the family?

Aapo: It seems so. My father is a retired construction manager, and Katja’s mother’s father also used to be a building contractor.

Katja: My husband and both of his brothers also work in the building sector. So yes, there are quite a few of us in the family.

How did the two of you end up working at Consti?

Aapo: I worked for more than a decade at NCC. When many of my co-workers transferred to Consti, I also decided to switch employers. Currently, I am a senior site manager at the Heka Siilitie site.

Katja: I completed my first work placement as a construction worker at NCC. On my dad’s recommendation, I applied for a site management traineeship at Consti. I am extremely happy with the decision, because after the traineeship I was given the opportunity to continue working while still studying and to complete my thesis and other study-related projects at Consti. Dad started working at Consti after me, in September 2014, and we worked at the same site. This spring, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and received a permanent job at Consti. Consti is great in supporting students, and the company often employs skilled and competent students after graduation.

How would you describe each other as fellow workers?

Aapo: Katja is determined and decisive. She always follows things through. Katja has been a quick learner and has adjusted well to the field.

Katja: Aapo is a highly skilled, competent, friendly and fair colleague, one who gets along with everyone and makes things work.

At present, Katja is working as a site manager in Helsinki on the ‘Luova talo’ project, which concerns one of the buildings of the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle. Aapo came to the site for the photo shoot, but the father and daughter also have experience working together at the same construction site.

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Do the family roles follow you to work? Does either one ever lose their temper? Does Aapo dish out fatherly advice?

Aapo: We get along well. I have given Katja small tips and pointers, a few words of warning. Site management tasks involve certain risks that one should avoid. For example, it is important to be very careful about when to give your final approval on a task.

Katja: I am glad I got to work with my dad and learn from him for more than a year. There were never any conflicts. We both live in Porvoo and occasionally shared the journey to work. The drive home was a great opportunity for good and sometimes heated discussions about things that had happened at work.

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