Emmie Johnson: Chartered surveyor goes an extra step for happy customers

Young woman looking outside a window

Emmie Johnson works as project manager in Malmo with large construction projects for millions of dollars. She lives and breathes for those projects that may seem insurmountable, but end up being successful.

Emmie Johnson dreams of extending and improving the Swedish society. She wants to work with property development that makes an impact on society, for example buildings with a sustainability profile, that takes care of the environment as well as the people which are using the house. She thrives in a consulting industry where she meets new customers and sectors every day, asking for her advice. What motivates her are happy customers. She is a troubleshooter who always meets the customer's needs. She is driven by projects where it can be difficult to break the code for the right solution, but once she has found the right solution, then her fortune is made. She graduated from Lund University in 2012 as chartered surveyor. Before joining NIRAS in 2014, she worked as a project manager in Kristianstad Municipality. 

Do you have any role models?

I was signed a mentor at my first working place, Kristianstads Municipality. He has followed me, and he is really a role model for how I would like to be in my professional life. He is calm and structured. He has everything in order, and he is organized. When I first started working he told me that being a project manager is a bit like being a parent. Sometimes you have to be nice, hold their hand and make them feel comfortable, and other times you have to say NO and make boundaries to make a good project. And I think that’s a good motto.

What are the best way of learning for you?

I learn best by doing. When you are able to try and do something by yourself, and when you have a boss that relies on you, gives you credit, gives you freedom - that’s crucial for my learnings. And it’s important for me that I have senior colleagues to ask. At the same time I like an open climate for discussion, so if there is something I don’t know, I can say it – I won’t be judged. We have good environment for that in Malmo. 

Where do you find inspiration?

I’m inspired by doing things that are a little bit too hard. When it’s tingling in your stomach because you are a little bit nervous about how this would this go and you think I might not make this. Its inspiring to do things that you didn’t think you would be able to do, but you end with a success. That really makes you grow and I find that inspiring.

How do you experience the difference between studying at the university and working full-time in NIRAS?

I think the difference is that when you are studying, you have a lot of freedom in one way, but in another way, you are never free, because you can always do a little bit more. You have always bad conscience. At the university you go to an exam and get a grade, and you are always looking for the next exam. But when you start working you have to think differently. I found it very hard, when I started to work, because I liked doing an exam and getting a grade, and knowing whether it went good or bad. And when I started working I didn’t know how I was doing, because there was no exam, there was no grade. After five years I can appreciate not having a grade.