Member News July/August 2020
Restricted by pandemic, DPR creates virtual internship
It’s a construction internship without boots, hardhats, dirty work or meetings inside a trailer, yet it is teaching more than 100 university students core lessons about successful construction management.
After COVID-19 shut down or altered projects across the country, officials at DPR Construction realized they wouldn’t be able to conduct their standard internship program this summer. But they wanted to do something.
Sean O’Mara, National College Recruiting Lead at DPR, researched models for virtual internships. “A lot of them looked mostly like classwork. My feeling was these students are just coming off a semester of doing classwork online and that gets old.”
So instead, O’Mara and other DPR personnel designed a virtual internship that mimicked Associated Schools of Construction competitions. Interns would be divided into teams of five to six and tasked with completing the pre-construction work on an actual project. Provided with designs, contracts, subcontractor bids and other project documents, the students would be given an assignment each week, such as developing a construction schedule. By the end of the eight-week internship, all 16 teams would have to deliver pre-sentations, analyzing the project and providing a go/no go recommendation to DPR. The four teams with the top scores in the competition would go on to make presentations to DPR’s management committee.
The virtual internship has provided students with weekly, two-hour presentations by DPR experts from across the country in scheduling, budgeting, business development and other topics. Interns are learning things they would never encounter serving as a DPR project engineer during an in-person internship. Several universities are even granting academic credits to students who complete the program.
BC&E welcomes two new members
Eisenbrandt Companies is a third-generation, family-owned, full-service design and build firm. Based in Cockeysville, Eisenbrandt delivers custom home renovations, additions and historic rehabilitations. The company combines a passion for high-quality craftsmanship with environmental preservation and low-impact building practices.
Matheu & Associates is a CPA firm specializing in serving the construction industry. The firm provides comprehensive accounting, tax services and CFO services to business and individuals throughout the Baltimore area.