Best Place to Work

„Always be passionate about the job you do."

Hendrike Gramatke is a site manager at Stump-Franki. The PORRian tells us how she ended up in specialist civil engineering, what her goals are and why everyything is good in the end.

What is it that makes Stump-Franki such a unique company?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re young or old, male or female. Everyone’s voice counts, everyone is taken seriously, and we are all treated equally. There is a very strong sense of community. I was already aware of this before I came here, thanks to some of my colleagues in the industry. That’s why I hoped to start at Stump-Franki from the moment I got my degree in civil engineering. Besides, their many fantastic projects in Berlin are impossible to miss.

What made you opt for a career in construction?

I inherited my passion for construction from my father. He’s a civil engineer too. He built our family home when I was six years old and I really loved watching it grow. My father is my greatest role model. I also like the fact that people in the construction industry tend to speak their minds, no matter how harsh it may sound.

Which stages has your career gone through up till now?

I had plenty of options after graduating from high school, and I found it very hard to decide what I wanted to do. So I spent a year working for the emergency medical services while I thought about where my strengths lie – mathematics and logical reasoning. Then I opted for a sandwich course in civil engineering where I took a class with a very good lecturer in specialist civil engineering. He went into business for himself and, seven years ago, he invited me to join his team as a junior site manager. Later I transferred to a smaller company in Berlin. Three years ago, I joined Stump.

(c) PORR
(c) PORR
(c) PORR

What is your next goal?

I hope to become a project manager for large-scale projects.

What challenges do you face in your day-to-day working life?

Projects that fail to run smoothly are always a challenge. Facing pressure from the employer – whether deserved or not – is emotionally challenging. Endurance sports help me unwind, which is very important. For example, I like to go jogging to clear my head.

In what way does the construction industry’s reputation differ from the reality?

One misconception is that the construction industry is unfriendly. It can be pretty tough sometimes, that’s true, but I can generally stand my ground. I encourage young women who want to pursue a career in construction to believe in themselves. Even though it can be quite difficult sometimes.

I think people often underestimate the construction industry. ‘Why is there so much construction work going on?’ you hear them ask. Or ‘Why haven’t they finished it yet?’ Many people have no idea of how much work is involved. Anyway, people in construction aren’t unfriendly. If you talk to people with a smile on your face, they’ll smile right back.

(c) PORR
(c) PORR
(c) PORR

Which PORR principle is especially important for you?

You should always be passionate about the job you do. Otherwise you’ll find it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. Passion feeds off appreciation and praise following a successful project. But it also triggers emotions. When that happens, it can be difficult to stay calm – during disagreements with an employer, for example. We have a mantra that I always find helpful: “Everything always turns out all right in the end. If it’s not all right, then it’s not the end.”

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