SHP offers a full slate of planning and architectural services, interior and landscape design, and building-systems engineering. The company has a longstanding relationship with UC, particularly when it comes to cooperative education (co-op). In just the last 15 years, 163 UC students from various disciplines have worked as paid co-op students at the firm from such majors as architecture, interior design, mechanical and electrical engineering, graphic design, construction management, computer science, finance and marketing.
Forty-one of those co-ops were CEAS students and 20 percent of them ended up taking full-time jobs at SHP after graduating. SHP also has some co-ops and interns from other universities, but most of those co-ops take place in the summer. All CEAS and DAAP students at UC have mandatory co-op experiences built into the curriculum, so they aren’t limited to summer internship programs.
The Bearcat alumni tradition is strong at SHP. Today, six of the 10 partners leading SHP are UC graduates. Della Bella said the firm has employed approximately 675 employees since it’s inception nearly 120 years ago and at least 250 of those employees have been UC alumni.
With so many of the partners having gone through UC’s co-op program themselves, they understand and appreciate how valuable it is to the student experience and have made it a priority to continue supporting the co-op program as a way to give back.
“We rely on the co-op students that come through here to make a contribution to the firm and we want to give them the absolute best experience that we can by making sure they feel like they are getting not just a quality experience, but also a good level of responsibility and that they are given the opportunity to make a difference,” Della Bella said.
Additionally, many employees of SHP are heavily involved at UC through participation on committees and in advisory roles (Della Bella is on the CEAS advisory board), conducting joint research projects, working with DAAP studios and offering professional critiques.
“I think it’s been a long, healthy and important relationship with UC and one we are committed to for the long haul,” Della Bella said.