In the fall of 2020, I found my way back to McCormick Taylor for the third time. My journey has taken me in different directions at times, but McCormick Taylor has always given me opportunities to grow, flexibility to do the work, impactful projects to work on, and great people to work with each day.
Starting My Career
I first began work at McCormick Taylor as an intern - so technically, my first go-around was intended to be short-term as I would start college at Drexel University that fall. I was just out of high school and started in the Philadelphia office as a “gofer” stocking supplies and running errands. My fondest memories from my first “real” job are the lunches with co-workers - an interesting bunch ranging from fresh-faced interns to experienced technical staff. Although I was young, I learned then that the people we work with are what makes work enjoyable.
Becoming a Civil Engineer
Fast forward to my junior year at Drexel with a declared major in civil engineering. When it came time to select my final co-op, I knew I wanted to be back with McCormick Taylor. This time around, I was working in the traffic unit, where I felt like part of the team from day one. I was tasked with revising plans, fieldwork, traffic counts, and a bit of design work. Most importantly, I was able to contribute to a variety of projects with the entire Philly traffic team. My co-op was such a mutual success that I ended up staying on part-time until I completed my degree. After graduation, I transitioned to a full-time employee where I would spend the next 11 years of my career.
Two projects I worked on then still stand out - the signalization of Roosevelt Boulevard and 2nd Street as well as updating PennDOT Publication 111 (Traffic Control – Pavement Markings and Signing Standards) and Publication 236 (Handbook of Approved Signs). Roosevelt Boulevard was a fast-tracked project in response to a tragic accident where a family was struck and killed by a vehicle. I grew up not far from that intersection and drove on the Boulevard daily, so this project meant something to me personally. In my freshman year at Drexel, I worked on a design project to improve intersection safety on the Boulevard, which is what sparked my interest in becoming a Civil Engineer. The second project, the PennDOT publications, might not sound all that exciting on paper, but what made it special was that I was able to design the cover for Publication 236. This allowed me to combine my passion for drawing with my professional career, and it still puts a smile on my face every time I see it.
Once I started working with McCormick Taylor after graduation, life came full circle when I found myself managing and interviewing the traffic co-ops. I was in that same conference room as before when I interviewed but on the opposite side of the table. I spent the next few years mentoring the co-ops and interns, three of whom now have full-time positions with us.
Some of my favorite parts of working at McCormick Taylor are the different events the company organizes that give everyone something to look forward to throughout the workweek. I can still taste all the delicious pies from Pie Day which was our annual contest around Thanksgiving. I’ll never forget the social the traffic group held for the Philly office that was carnival-themed. I even got to display my “athletic ability” on the company's softball and soccer teams. But, the biggest event was, hands down, the Employee Recognition Dinner held at the end of the year. It was the perfect way to celebrate all our hard work and enjoy time with co-workers from all offices.
In addition, my schedule has always been flexible and has allowed me to balance work and life. It wasn’t uncommon to see me putting in extra hours to earn comp time so I could use that time later for my many travel adventures. It was because of this flexibility that my passion for travel was able to flourish. So much so, that my fiancé and I decided that we would take an entire year off to travel and see the world. This is how I would come to leave McCormick Taylor for a second time in November 2019. Little did I know how life-changing the year 2020 would be, and it would have nothing to do with my round-the-world trip.
Changing My Career Path
In the fall of 2020, the pandemic showed no signs of slowing down, and I needed to start looking for a new job. The next thing I knew, I was interviewing at McCormick Taylor, for a position that neither they nor I knew existed at the time. The company was still working remotely and was open to my desire for a career change. One thing that was very important to me was the company’s response to the pandemic. At this point, I wasn’t comfortable with working in an office yet. After some discussion, we decided that my new role would be split between the Systems & Operations and Traffic groups. On January 4th, 2021, I returned to McCormick Taylor for the third time. I spent the better part of this year carving out my path in the Systems & Operations group. I knew I wanted this new role to capture that same feeling I had when I designed the Publications 236 cover all those years back. Thankfully I was able to do this by lending my talents to the development of training content. I feel fortunate that I have been able to carve out my own path at McCormick Taylor, and I’m excited to see where this third path will take me next.
If you are interested in a career change, please check out the opportunities that await you at McCormick Taylor here.