Silja Wanner

Silja Wanner
  1. Tell us who you are!

    I am a 33-year old Legal Counsel in a Construction Company that loves her interesting and diversified job and enjoys traveling, sports, pro-bono work, art-house cinema and spending time with family and friends. These are the main facts and you will learn more in the following answers.

  2. Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!

    I already realized during my 2-years-training period that I wanted to practice in the field of real estate and construction law. It was the best of both worlds: containing commercial law and economical aspects but also giving you an object in real life to work on which you can see, witness taking form and walk through.

    I started my law-career the classic way in a real-estate specialized law firm. That was in Hamburg, a buzzing city when it comes to new constructions and real estate, so projects were big, interesting and colorful and the first lawyer years were thrilling. However after a couple of years I felt the urge to use my degree from abroad and the skills I acquired there and work more international. The opportunity I took then was even more exciting: as an in-house lawyer you are closer yet to the project and the people in the company than you can ever get as an external lawyer.

    I am in charge of national and international projects, my current main responsibility is the region of Austria, where I consult on all legal aspects of the firm’s infrastructure projects like tunnels, roads and bridges.

    Apart from the daily challenges this works brings I am always looking for new incitation. I enjoy learning different things and get to know other environments – for example as I built a footpath bridge pro bono with nine other colleagues of the construction company in Ruanda last year. It was interesting to not only cope with the legal aspects of a construction project but to actually learn and experience how the work is done with your own hands.

  3. What does “Social Capital” mean to you?

    Social capital for me is exchanging experiences consisting of situations, places, people, … in order to learn and benefit from each other’s way of life. The different skills and approaches of fulfilling tasks and projects etc. offer unlimited possibilities to us when shared and we can all learn previously unknown things.

  4. What makes you successful in life/current job?

    Most importantly: Passion! Which is mixed best with authenticity. Whenever you feel a job, project or task is totally “your thing” you can easily give your best performances and achieve your goals.

    On the less abstract side as tools I find structure useful, it leads to efficiency but can also produce creative ideas, because you’re not caught up in basics once they are aligned. Precision shows respect for the work and the people dealing with it and is often the little extra that takes your piece of work from good to excellent. Also mandatory is listening to the people and be open-hearted. As easy as it sounds, sometimes this is forgotten during the discussion of recondite matters like legal aspects. However, advising someone in those aspects is more successful when you understand their requirements and concerns. This is also important in negotiations.

  5. What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?

    I wish to provide some answers and/or impulses in the questions and topics you are engaged with when starting your career. I still remember vividly how I was tossing them when I started only a couple of years ago. Now, I am hoping to make life a bit easier for my mentee by being a sparring partner, helping her in asking herself and others the fitting questions, finding answers and developing her aspirations individually – and last but not least show her how much fun the process of gaining professional experience can be!