Part-time Master's in Construction Law: Tatjana Gebhardt - Foundation stone for the dream job

2023-03-28 In recent years, the 33-year-old has become an expert in subsidised construction projects for private building owners. Yet she started her career in a completely different field.

Tatjana Gebhardt Beurechtsstudierende an der PS ©privat
"Leuphana Professional School was very supportive during our studies. For me, it was an educational and exciting time, during which I also made new friends", says Tatjana Gebhardt

Her clients and their building projects are close to Tatjana Gebhardt's heart. Her professional responsibility is great. She is currently overseeing the construction of a concert hall financed by public funds and private donors, a so-called "Zuwendungsbau", as the client's representative: "A private foundation that receives a lot of public funding may have to act like a public donor. The regulations are strict. Mistakes can jeopardise the project."

Tatjana Gebhardt has been working in project management at HS ImmoInvest for over eight years and is now part of the management team as an authorised signatory. The Hessian real estate consulting company, part of the HaackSchubert group of companies, is particularly dedicated to the development and implementation of social and sustainable building projects for investors. Tatjana Gebhardt has found her dream job with this assignment, although she didn't know about it for a long time: "After school, I first trained as a social insurance clerk. Legal issues and a social environment have always interested me."

Tatjana Gebhardt looked for further answers: she worked for a large German health insurance company and then studied the Bachelor's programme in Health Management at the University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt with a focus on gerontology or retirement and nursing homes. She wrote her Bachelor's thesis on the "Development of a social neighbourhood compared to a nursing home - from the perspective of project management".

"I was a working student at HS ImmoInvest during my studies. I lacked the perspective of a civil engineer, but through my work at the health insurance company and my studies in health management, I knew how architecture can improve the lives of dementia patients, for example," says Tatjana Gebhardt. A social quarter that HS ImmoInvest develops for investors can, for example, offer special features for people suffering from dementia: for example, with a supermarket on the grounds of the home that offers goods from days gone by, small residential groups or colour contrasts that make orientation easier.

She was so fascinated by working in the construction industry with a focus on health, social and cultural real estate that she started full-time at HS ImmoInvest after completing her Bachelor's degree. "On the one hand, my work has a social benefit and thus creates added social value, and on the other hand, I see the progress on the construction site every day. I am also fascinated by the combination of different disciplines: Business Administration, Construction Engineering, Architecture and Real Estate Economics."

Tatjana Gebhardt represents builders in all phases of real estate projects: Searching for a suitable plot of land, concluding all the necessary contracts, laying the foundation stone, providing support during the construction phase and handing over the keys: "As a project manager, I am the contact person for all the stakeholders involved in the construction site, which is why I wanted to expand my legal knowledge in particular with the part-time degree programme at Leuphana Professional School. The programme convinced me: we dealt with both legal and technical issues. I can apply the contents one hundred percent in my job," says Tatjana Gebhardt.

The Professional School at Leuphana University of Lüneburg has been offering the part-time Master's programme in Construction Law and Construction Management since October 2012. Through an innovative teaching concept, the fields of construction law, construction economics and construction technology are combined for the first time and oriented towards management practice. In particular, after completing the Master's, students will be familiar with the only consistent verification system worldwide for the accounting of construction projects, which is currently also establishing itself in case law. By completing the Master's programme, students receive the necessary qualification to take on management responsibility in the construction industry at the interface between law, economics and technology.

In her current construction project, Tatjana Gebhardt is primarily responsible for funding management in addition to representing the client. In addition to preparing funding requests to the funding agencies (including the state of Hesse and the federal government), reporting for them (e.g. proof of use) is a key task. Another part is supplement management: In her current construction project, Tatjana Gebhardt had to process a large number of supplements. When examining a single supplement, all three factors must be taken into account: technical, financial and legal. An addendum can result from very different reasons: a forgotten service during the tender, a price increase due to the Ukraine crisis, an acute problem during the construction process or a request from the client: "I then have to take care of the solution. Because of the subsidy, public procurement law has to be observed, which often conflicts with the time goals of the project." Tatjana Gebhardt perfectly combined her Master's degree with her professional passion by writing her thesis on the topic of "Establishing a subsidy management system within the scope of a subsidised construction measure for a private building owner". Within the scope of this thesis, she outlined the special challenges and suitable solution approaches for grant recipients. Through her studies at Leuphana, Tatjana Gebhardt has been able to build up a network that also helps her professionally: "Most of my fellow students are civil engineers. If I can't solve a technical problem on the construction site, I always have the opportunity to ask."

She was also able to strengthen her leadership skills: "We had very good seminars on conflict management and negotiation. Her employer fully supported Tatjana Gebhardt during the four semesters at Leuphana Professional School: "HS ImmoInvest covered the tuition fees and I had the opportunity to create time for my studies through flexitime."

In the meantime, Tatjana Gebhardt has completed her Master's degree with an average of 1.3: "Leuphana Professional School was very supportive during our studies. For me, it was an educational and exciting time, during which I also made new friends."