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Pierce Heads Back to ISU

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Today wraps up, intern Pierce Gelhaus’ eight month co-op with us. Pierce, an Iowa State University (ISU) Construction Engineering student, joined us for the summer and fall terms as part of their cooperative (co-op) program to gain hands-on, real-world construction experience. 

Pierce was put to work assisting on several projects with everything from bid preparations and administrative requirements to project planning and daily project upkeep. “My main goal was to absorb everything I could” Pierce said. “I learned more than I ever imagined in the short eight months I’ve been here.”

Pierce assisted Project Manager Rick Trower with two projects during his co-op – a project for Metro Waste Authority and a new location for Bankers Trust. “Prior to this experience I struggled to understand the dynamics between the office and field sides of a project, being able to spend time in both the office and on the jobsite helped me see how things come together and how the whole team – office, field, sub[contractors], owners and architects – work together.”

“Having PG (Pierce) around the last eight months has really been a benefit to Neumann Brothers” said Rick. “I have seen him grow his skills while assisting me in managing projects. He’s earned the trust of our Superintendents, Architects and Owners.” Rick was able to learn from Pierce as well. “It was a good lesson for me as a mentor. I had to introduce him to the industry and be a good role model to help him start his career” Rick said. 

“I learned a lot working with Rick and [Superintendent] Nick Doyle” said Pierce. “They both took time to explain each process and help me understand how and why things were being done.” For Pierce, being given greater responsibilities than he expected was a surprise and a welcome challenge. “Rick and Nick guided me through a lot of the process and allowed me to manage various aspects. Having subcontractors come to me with questions that I was able to answer was a big accomplishment for me” said Pierce. 

Nike and Pierce at Bankers Trust Ankeny

Above: Superintendent Nick Doyle worked with Pierce on the Bankers Trust Ankeny Project.

“Pierce was always eager to learn new things and was always willing to assist others – he has a good worth ethic and a friendly outlook that people really appreciate. I saw a lot of growth throughout his time here” said Rick. “As my work load increased I trusted Pierce to take charge of issues or planning and he helped keep the jobs running smoothly.”

Pierce heads back to ISU to complete his studies in January and while he’s ready to get back in his school routine and see his peers, he enjoyed his time here. “I wanted to be an asset to the team and more than just an intern watching from the sidelines” he said. While he enjoyed visiting jobsites and learning everything internally from project estimating and takeoff to project administration, his favorite experience was bid day. “There was a large bid – all hands on deck – everyone was running around, making phone calls, throwing out numbers, verifying information; I had no idea something like that could be such a rush, plus everyone working together was really exciting.”

His advice to future interns: “there is no such thing as a dumb question – ask them all!”

We wish Pierce the best of luck as he finishes his degree and moves out into the industry. We’ve enjoyed having him as part of our team and we know he’ll excel where ever he journey takes him.