From consultant to contractor: More exitement and responsibility

Senior project manager Petra Ghanem does not regret her switch to the construction industry after many years as a consultant. It has resulted in many new challenges, and she enjoys seeing the projects through.

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- Coming to the construction industry with a background as a consultant is an advantage.

Senior project manager Petra Ghanem has only been with MT Højgaard Danmark for a short time, but she has great responsibilities already. She is head of the interior fitting on Svanemølleholm which is one of our largest ongoing projects. It comprises 57,000 square metres divided between two domiciles. We are building it on a design-build contract with the sum of 1.5 billion kroner. Along with her colleagues Petra Ghanem is working hard at finishing the project planning.

- We don’t have a lot of time so we can’t waste a single minute, says Petra. The way she talks about her job bears witness to the way she handles the pressure. She is not intimidated of responsibility as long as the challenges are interesting.

More excitement and responsibility as a contractor

Petra Ghanem has a background with 12 years in the consultant industry. She made a brief switch to another contractor before coming to MT Højgaard Danmark.

- Coming to the construction industry with a background as a consultant is an advantage. On the whole, I think trying both the consultant- and construction industry is a good idea, says Petra who does not regret her switch.

- There’s more life in the construction industry, and it’s more exiting. You have the final product in your hands. The consultants are not to be underestimated, and they are essential on the projects. But the contractor has a more complex task to solve. We are a part of the entire process.

Petra Ghanem very much enjoys the extra responsibility that comes with being a contractor:

- As the contractor we have a bigger responsibility for the project, but we also have more influence. There must be a desire and a drive to live up to that responsibility, and if there is you have a lot of fun.

Petra Ghanem moves her workstation and workday to the construction site whenever possible.

Out of the site hut

For Petra Ghanem the job as senior project manager is all about having ongoing dialogue with all concerned and sensing where the problems arise. That is why Petra moves her workstation and workday to the construction site whenever possible.

- It is important to be physically present on the site, and it is important to get out of the site hut too. I do it myself as much as possible, and I want the construction engineers working for me to be on the site 80% of their time. It’s about showing respect for the craftsmen and the work they do. In my job, you must be able to talk to everybody and like having people around you.

Little and large disasters

Even though Svanemølleholm is a large and complex project Petra assesses that actually building it will not be the largest challenge. There is a lot of square metres and the standards are sky high, but the task does not intimidate her. She and her colleagues have the competencies and experience to accomplish it.

- We’ve done it before, and we can do it again, she says.

The largest challenge on the project will be getting the logistics to work on the very limited space. But those kinds of challenges are exactly what Petra is passioned about solving:

- My job is solving little and large disasters all day long. Challenges that needs to be solved right away arise all the time, she says with a smile.

Petra Ghanem and her team have built an unusually large mock-up to test different solutions and ensure approval from the client.

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