The route to international tasks goes via Fimpec

Since summer 2020, Matti Alonen has been exactly where he wanted to be – involved in a major construction project abroad.

Construction technology engineer Matti Alonen (M.Sc. (Tech)) says he had been interested in travelling abroad for work since his studies. His interest in international challenges began when he was an exchange student in Austria and then acted as a tutor for exchange students in Tampere.

After graduating, Alonen spent more than ten years working on construction contracts in Finland, but he held on to his wish to work abroad. The opportunity to do so came about when he joined Fimpec in summer 2019 as a construction manager and began to prepare a project in Germany. In summer 2020, he moved to the Leipzig region. Alonen wasn’t really nervous about such a big change.

“It didn’t feel like a drastic change in the end. I thoroughly prepared for it, and I had lived abroad before as an exchange student. In fact, the leap to international travel happened when I went on the exchange.”

When in Germany, it pays to know German

Alonen now leads a 10-person team of construction managers in the project. The team is responsible for leading the project’s construction work, engineering management, and putting contracts out to tender.

Alonen says that work in the new environment has met his expectations. He says Germany is a nice place to work if you know German.

“Of course, you need professional competence, but you also have to be able to speak English and German.” For example, our construction management team alone contains representatives from several different cultures, and it’s typical in major construction projects to have workers from all over the world.”

Knowing the local language also comes in handy outside of work. This becomes even more important if your whole family moves to the new country, as Alonen’s did.

“That went well, too. The children go to school here and we are settling in nicely. Just like at work: you’ll do well here if you can speak the language.”

The importance of flexibility

Adapting to a new job and culture was made easier by the employer’s experience with major international projects and working abroad. Help and advice with practical matters was available.

“Flexibility and accommodation on both sides is important during the early phase. Things were made somewhat easier because Fimpec set up a subsidiary here in spring 2020, Fimpec Deutschland GmbH, so help is always close by.”

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