Beyond the Build

Community Service

The Right Way to Co-Op

Over the last few years, we’ve had a number of interns from the Auburn University Urban Studio, and have had success channeling their talent while they hopefully learn a few things along the way. This past year, we decided to up our commitment, and are now involved with the Auburn University CADC Co-Op Program.

It’s our goal to find the right students who work with us throughout their college years, alternating a semester of work with a semester of school. While here, they work primarily in four areas: Estimating, Project Management, the Field and Accounting. Depending upon the semester, we try to rotate them through all of these four areas.

Each semester here builds on the last, so they are gradually afforded more responsibility. Upon graduation, it’s our goal that they are ready to begin work as a capable Assistant Project Manager or Assistant Estimator, either at Stewart Perry or any other construction firm.

A few things we’ve learned so far about working with Co-Ops:

  • Our Co-Ops are capable young men and women who have an interest in our industry and our company. Treat them as such.
  • Because of their connection to school, Co-Ops are usually up-to-date on the latest technologies, materials or construction software on the market.
  • They can fill gaps when everyone is over-extended.
  • The strongest business plan is a condensed version of many individual’s ideas. It is always good for us to keep our ears open for their fresh input.

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Merrill Stewart Jr.

Merrill Stewart is Founder and CEO of The Stewart/Perry Company, a commercial building contractor based in Birmingham.