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Sanna Haukka, NCC Photo: NCC
Sanna Haukka, NCC Photo: NCC View original picture , opens in new tab/window

"A master's degree in architecture combines the aesthetic with the construction technology"

Published: 12 March 2021

Sanna Haukka, NCC

Have you previously hired someone who studied The Master Programme in Architectural Engineering?

We have several employees with us who have studied civil engineering architecture at Luleå University of Technology and they currently work in various roles in the company.

I have studied civil engineering architecture in house construction and started at NCC by doing my 7-month internship in 2012 in the company's house building department. After that, I went to the trainee program and then also had the opportunity to work together with other departments and units within the company such as land, construction, purchasing, etc. Since then, I have worked as a supervisor and now as a project engineer in the Building business area.

What is your opinion of the program?

The program with a focus on house construction provides a holistic understanding of the construction process and through the breadth of the program there is an opportunity to develop and work in the entire construction industry.

What opportunities are there for students with you during your studies and what are you looking for in a student?

7-month internship (competence building), summer job, ex-job. Someone who shows passion for performance and contributes to teamwork through a positive and responsive behavior.

Do you have any tips for students to best prepare for working life?

The 7-month internship is a good way to get an insight into working life during the study period and to make contacts. It can provide guidance on which elective courses are useful and interesting to read after the internship period.

When you and your classmates have finished your education - you have read the same courses, have about the same grades - what is it then that sets you apart from the others? Focus on this as you build your resume.

How do you view the combination of civil engineering and architecture?

There will always be a need for both architects (SAR / MSA) and civil engineers. A master's degree in architecture combines the aesthetic with the construction technology, while architects focus on the aesthetic. But since an architect is a protected professional title, a master's degree in architecture will not be able to replace an architect. I see the combination more as a way to facilitate the collaboration between the engineers and the architect and together be able to find new innovative solutions that are both aesthetically pleasing and technically feasible. So I believe that the industry, whether it is an architectural firm or a construction company, benefits from the broad knowledge and understanding that a civil engineering architecture has both in terms of the importance of aesthetics but also the importance of technical execution such as durability, strength, economy and so on.

Is there any specific knowledge of newly graduated students that you see as extra valuable?

I would not say no specific knowledge, but it is more about personal qualities such as showing willingness and commitment to what you do. No one expects you to be fully trained after school and it is also not rocket science we are doing, so most things are learned because and learning really continues all the time.

House building or Urban planning?

I studied house building and it focuses on exactly what we do in NCC Building - housing, bath houses, schools, offices and other commercial properties. I think that many of the construction engineering courses have been very useful in my work and prepare one for the challenges that the industry faces with energy efficient construction, moisture management, etc.