Marjet Mäkinen, Suomen Kovabetoni Oy
"Not everyone needs to be mathematically superior or interested in all the phenomena of physics. Technical education is much more than that. It is a way of looking at the world".
What have you studied and how did you choose this option?
I studied at Aalto University with a major in Production Economics and a minor in Construction Economics. I chose Production Economics because I believed it best combined both a technical and a commercial degree - I had considered both commercial and construction studies. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
How did you become CEO of Suomen Kovabetoni Oy?
After graduation, I ended up as a strategy consultant at August Associates through an internship during my studies. Strategy consulting seemed to be the perfect "postgraduate" degree for my studies. Consulting gave me exposure to a wide range of industries and the opportunity to work with a variety of challenges. The pace of work was fast and I learned a lot in two years. I then moved from consulting to managing director of our family business, as a generational change came about. Production management and consulting provided a very good basis for managing a construction company.
What is the best thing about your job?
The freedom and responsibility of entrepreneurship is the best. I am working all the time, but at the same time the work is flexible and allows for a varied daily routine.
The best thing about being an entrepreneur is that you get to realise yourself through the company. I can expand the business into areas that I feel are important to me and at the same time I can develop the culture within the company to reflect what I think the company should look like. The most important thing for me is to be able to offer people jobs and provide them with good working conditions.
What have been the highlights and most important lessons you have learned in your career?
The best decisions have been studying production economics and joining a family business, although it felt exciting at first. I wouldn't change the decisions I've made too much, even mistakes have taught or grown me.
What are your expectations for the future?
My goal is to continue to grow the business profitably in the future. I would also like to study more management at some point, for example work psychology.
What greetings would you like to send to a young woman considering a career choice?
I would definitely recommend technical education to everyone. It provides an absolutely fantastic basis for a very wide range of career paths, from technician to manager. The most important lesson I learned from the training is the analytical way of thinking and solving problems. Not everyone needs to be mathematically superior or interested in all the phenomena of physics. Technical education is much more than that. It is a way of looking at the world. One of the best things about studying at Otaniemi has been the camaraderie and student life. You will definitely enjoy it.
For whom is this a suitable career option?
There is no one mould that fits all for a construction manager. I think an analytical, analytical, empathetic person will excel in any industry.