We had a moment to sit down with an interesting and talented young lady who has been a part of our RAUCH inc. team since she was 15!
Rachael Whiting became interested in Engineering in the 9th grade at Easton High School…well, maybe not so much interested as “placed”. As Rachael relays, “I had to take an elective course and my parents pushed me into taking an intro class to engineering. It wasn’t love at first sight–I wasn’t sure I wanted to take this elective. But, as luck would have it, the ACE (Architecture, Construction, Engineering) Mentoring program was held in the same classroom right after school. I got hooked on ACE in the 10th grade, and the rest, as they say, is history!” Rachael met Bob Rauch through an ACE mentoring breakfast where students made presentations of 4 projects to area businesses–RAUCH inc. was one of them, and Rachael had lots of questions for Bob, including asking him to critique her work. Rachael suggested a “shadow” day at RAUCH inc. offices where she could get to know more about the disciplines and interact with staff. Bob agreed and this shadow day led to another shadow day and eventually to a a 2 day-a-week internship in the field with our Survey crew. “It was so neat, because I didn’t just sit at a desk! I got to go out into the field and interact with staff and learn what engineering was about–from the ground up!” “I rotated through different departments, working with Environmental Services in the field, as well. I trained on software in the office used by the EITs and PEs–so, yes, eventually, there was some desk time!”
Rachael’s career with RAUCH inc. has expanded since these humble beginnings. Rachael continued to work with RAUCH inc. throughout her high school career, including while completing dual enrollment courses at Chesapeake College, which allowed her to accumulate college credits before high school graduation. Upon graduation from Easton High School in 2015, Rachael enrolled at Chesapeake College full-time. In the Spring of 2015, she transferred to the University of Maryland and is poised to graduate in December of 2018 –her credits from Chesapeake College having paved the way for her to graduate from Maryland ahead of the 4-year mark. All the while, she has worked for RAUCH inc. whenever she could–during school, holiday breaks and summertime.
But the story doesn’t end there. After transferring to Maryland, Rachael’s dedication to the Engineering track waivered. “I just didn’t have the same drive. I felt like my heart wasn’t in it.” She thought about it long and hard and decided to alter her course to study Architecture, another passion. “I put in a call to Bob to run my new game plan by him. I was a little nervous because RAUCH had invested so much time in my hands-on education. It was a happy surprise when he fully supported my decision–a sigh of relief, really! ” “Bob even suggested I switch gears and work for the RAUCH inc. architectural department, so in December 2016, I started working for Jake Laureska, AIA, head of the RAUCH inc. architectural team. Again, I gained field experience with Jake and the team by visiting sites, measuring and getting a visual understanding of what goes into a concept plan for a site. All of this helps make my classroom work even more meaningful.”
Rachael will be leaving her RAUCH inc. work for three weeks this summer to participate in a study abroad program based in Naples, Italy, entitled “Archaeology and Architecture in the Shadow of Vesuvius”. Rachael explains, “I am so very excited about this trip! We’ll be examining Pompeii ruin sites using LIDAR technology, specifically documenting and analyzing the Villa Arianna. The work we produce will be a permanent record on the site and become a resource to scholars and researchers. Also, I’ll earn credits toward my degree completion in December.”
Future plans? On the five-year scale, Rachael is contemplating gaining her architectural license to go with her degree and/or going for her MRED (Masters in Real Estate Development) degree through the University of Maryland. “I’m not quite sure which path I’ll take, but both programs complement each other, so it’s a win-win.”
RAUCH inc. is proud to have Rachael as part of our team, and we are always on the look-out to sponsor interns throughout Talbot County, other local school systems, and the University of Maryland System. We are particularly pleased to be a mentor in the ACE program and will continue to encourage local students to follow the Architectural, Construction, Engineering paths. Thanks to Talbot County Public Schools for recognizing RAUCH inc as one of many local community partners in education–it truly takes a village! We look forward to sharing more success stories like Rachael’s and will continue to promote internship and other educational opportunities for our bright and talented Shore Youth!