Das Fundament einer Karriere in der Bauwirtschaft 4
Peter Schaller, branch manager of PORR Bau GmbH Styria, Julia Halbwachs, student of Construction Design and Economics at FH JOANNEUM and Hartwig Holweg, head of general contracting division at PORR Bau GmbH. (©FH JOANNEUM /Marija Kanizaj )

The foundations for a career in the construction industry

Natanja C. Pascottini,

How do you start out in the construction industry? Studying is a good start. FH JOANNEUM operates in close collaboration with the construction industry so as to provide students and graduates with a head start.

The wide-ranging nature of the construction industry covers everything from project development, planning, construction and calculation to the implementation of structural and civil engineering works. FH JOANNEUM is one of Austria’s best universities and its success story began with technical courses such as the Construction Design and Economics course. The construction industry and FH JOANNEUM have a few things in common: experts from the practical world teach at the university and play an active role in the development of all our courses. Students complete internships at a national and international level and address topics from the industry in their Bachelor’s and Diploma theses. This cooperation has numerous advantages.

This can be demonstrated using the example of collaboration with PORR GmbH. Details are provided by Julia Halbwachs, a student of the Construction Design and Economics course, Victoria Binder, a graduate of this Bachelor’s course and of the Master’s in Construction Management and Engineering and Hartwig Holweg, head of the general contracting division at PORR GmbH Styria and a lecturer at FH JOANNEUM.

The student
For Julia Halbwachs, who studies Construction Design and Economics, FH JOANNEUM was her first choice because “collaboration with architects and engineers is strongly encouraged here. This is important for the industry”. She values the clear rules and procedures and close links with the practical side – she has also completed several internships herself, including with PORR in Vienna. “I was able to gather lots of experiences and impressions from the various internships because I was able to get to know and experience the perspective of construction workers ‘outside’ and the viewpoint of engineers ‘inside’”.

The graduate
The university’s close collaboration with national and international companies paid off for FH JOANNEUM graduate Victoria Binder: she took advantage of the opportunity of an internship with PORR and subsequently received a permanent position with the construction company. Today she works as a construction engineer on various projects – no two days are the same. She found the company’s input during her studies to be an enrichment. “Companies are regularly invited to hold guest talks and present the latest projects. There are also many external lecturers at FH JOANNEUM. So we as students were able to gain an impression of what it is like in the world of work and what was awaiting us. We were well prepared”.

The expert
Hartwig Holweg is head of the general contracting division at PORR in Styria and has been teaching at FH JOANNEUM for many years. The advantages of this close collaboration between the university and companies in his view: “Both sides, academia and business, should learn from one another’s experiences and findings. This exchange should be ongoing and take place at a number of levels. On the one hand through professionals on both sides and on the other, through the students with their innovative approaches and ideas”.