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Carin Rauterbach, Transportation Sector Lead, Atkins


Transportation Sector Lead

Carin serves as Faithful+Gould’s national Transportation Sector Lead. She brings specialized expertise in program management, construction cost management and project controls. Carin provides leadership on all major aviation, multimodal, and rail projects throughout the US and has been the Principal in Charge for our major Aviation and Transportation programs for the last decade.  Carin gets involved with early set up of PMO’s and Project Controls offices and setting up business processes for large capital programs. This service includes reviewing our client’s organizational structures and the construction program they are planning to make sure that it could be handled by their current business processes (and staff) in place. Most often than not, we would then prepare a gap analysis and look at areas where the business processes could be improved or streamlined. After streamlining the business processes (in conjunction with all the stakeholders) we would select the appropriate PM software and configure the software to facilitate the desired business processes. We would then implement and train all staff and provide user support on the software.

What is your story Carin?  How did you come to choosing this career?

I always liked to watch construction, whether it was a new hospital for the city or a neighbor renovating their house. As a young child I arranged my wood blocks of different shapes and then drew plans of the blocks. In high school I enjoyed math, accounting and science and a construction management or civil engineering degree seemed to be a good fit. In the end I studied Quantity Surveying as the project management and financial management of projects interested me. I had a scholarship with a mining company and worked in gold, coal and diamond mines for the first three years. Going 4km deep in gold mines were quite exciting at the time, yet intimidating too! After working for 7 years in various industries in South Africa I moved to Canada and worked as a deputy Program Manager on the Secondary Treatment for the Vancouver Sewage Treatment plant. I ended up in the US a few years later and held positions such as estimator, cost manager, project manager, Office Director, West Coast Operations and then Transportation Sector Lead. I worked on many different types of programs on projects including theme parks, hospitals, hotels, education facilities, museums, train stations and off course a lot of airport terminals and other airport facilities.

What advice do you have to other aspiring female leaders?

Our industry has such a need for female leaders. A previous mentor told me that “management is for the taking”. That always resonated with me. If there is a certain role that you would like to do, don’t wait for it to come your way but start doing all the things needed for that role. Prepare yourself for that role by taking the necessary training and look at how your career path can lead in that direction. Share this desire with your supervisor and other senior leaders, as they would be instrumental helping you grow. Make sure you gain experience in many aspects of the job as we really need very versatile leaders. I think also volunteering sometimes for a job that others don’t want to do, helps to get you noticed. I remember volunteering to move to Salt Lake City many years ago for a big airport program. In the end the 911 event stopped the program and I got to move back to Los Angeles where I really wanted to be. However that episode helped our leaders at the time realize that I would potentially be able to lead a part of our business and when the opportunity came I was ready to take it on. Also volunteering for internal initiatives is very helpful as you get to build your network of people in the business and leadership notices the extra effort involved.

If you had the opportunity to give advice to yourself as a 25 year old, what would it be?

Learn from people older than you. We have such a wealth of knowledge in our business. I still learn every day from the experts in our business. In most cases they love to share their knowledge too! At 25 you are also entitled to ask many silly questions, make use of that opportunity! Show your work and reports to others, for input, your report would turn out better and you will learn a lot in the process. Grab opportunities in other cities or even countries, as it most likely will give you more responsibility and you will grow faster in your career. Make sure you diversify your experience and don’t specialize too soon, unless you are really ready for that particular field of work. If you have a certain role on a project, speak to your colleagues and see how much you can learn about their positions, cross training is great for becoming well rounded and ready for the next step in your career.

Do you have a daily mantra or belief that enables you to thrive in an environment of unknowns?

I find during a time of difficulty or I spend more time on knees! I believe that there is a plan for all of us and God’s plan is always better than we imagined. Worrying about the situation does not get us anywhere. Look at the facts and the things you have control over and do your best every day on a consistent basis. If you do your part every day, work on the important things, and have integrity in all your dealings, you will achieve success in the end.

Anything else you would like to share?

I think we are all going through a time of change right now after the acquisition. In general people react to change as it creates uncertainty. I want people to remember that when there is change, there is also opportunity and sometimes huge opportunity in a changing organization! Keep your eyes open for this kind of opportunity!  Last, but not the least, spend time with your family. We all work hard, but we need to spend quality time with our families. Set aside time, we easily get consumed with the accessibility of our phones and computers. Life is short, our kids grow up way too quickly.

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