Rachel Moss Enjoying Summer at Coastal Construction

Thursday, June 20, 2024
By: Kyle Niblett

Rachel Moss

When it comes to internships, no day is ever the same. You often show up never knowing what you’re going to learn or where you’ll be when it comes to a random Wednesday in the summer. For University of Florida College of Design, Construction and Planning student Rachel Moss, she thrives on the unknown. As a project management intern at Coastal Construction Company, she has gone from watching machinery assembling a building to 360-degree views from the top of the project while on a site visit.

“I absolutely love walking the job site with my team and seeing the drawings come to life,” Moss said. “As I walk and analyze the site, I get to interact with so many different trades, such as painters, mechanics, welders, stone crafters, and more. Gaining exposure to those details and learning how to manage a team like that is really rewarding.”

As someone who is in the process of obtaining her bachelor’s degree in architecture with a minor in sustainability and the built environment, the OneDCP mantra of her college has never been more apparent than this summer at Coastal. She admits one of the more challenging parts of the internship is familiarizing herself with the other sides of a project beyond design. There are so many people and moving parts that go into a project, especially on an active construction site, that she has never been exposed to. Nonetheless, learning about all the different trades and disciplines involved in a project has been fun and exciting.

She has spent a bulk of her schedule in West Palm Beach managing Requests for Information (RFI’s) and submittals on a construction management software named Procore. When she’s not doing that, the DCP Ambassadors Vice President spends time reviewing reports from the design team, managing man count logs and actively participating in regular meetings with various team members, such as the different contractors, LEED correspondents, and the building owners. This might seem like a lot, but Moss credits the faculty at DCP for forcing her to question preconceived notions and make her push beyond what she thinks she can do.

“Learning how to respond to a challenge and coordinate a plan of action is the most valuable skill I have learned at DCP,” Moss said. “The organizations I’m involved in at DCP have really helped set me up for success. I’ve had invaluable exposure to professionals in the industry, gained knowledge on how to get accredited and licensed, and have had community-bonding events with my peers that have helped make my schooling so fulfilling.”

Scheduled to graduate next spring, Moss hopes her time at Coastal will help her get a better sense of what happens outside of architecture, which in turn will help influence how she thinks about designing projects. Additionally, the management and communication skills will assist her with her academics and club involvement, such as her role as a mentor in the UF School of Architecture Mentor/Mentee Program.

When it comes to long-term career plans, she is still figuring things out. Her goal is simply to expose herself to different careers within the industry in college so she can determine the things she enjoys and doesn’t enjoy about certain fields. Regardless, she knows the DCP community is helping her with her ambition to help shape communities and tell stories through themed design.

“DCP is an incredible community,” Moss finished with. “UF can be overwhelming in more ways than one, but the students, faculty, and professors are all super supportive in your journey. The community feel of DCP has been my favorite part of the college, and I enjoy passing that message on to prospective students whenever I can.”

Q&A with Rachel Moss

What has been your favorite course/professor at DCP and why?

I really enjoyed the studio courses I took this past year (D5 and D6). While it was the most challenging, they were both so fulfilling when it came to learning more about real-world design challenges and requirements. I’ve enjoyed the challenge of applying that information to my design projects. All the professors in DCP are great and will each teach you something unique, but my favorites would have to be John Maze, Mark McGlothlin, and Hui Zhou.

What has been your favorite memory at DCP and why?

My favorite DCP memory was traveling to New York City with my Design 6 studio this past semester! Experiencing the city with my friends and peers was a really cool experience personally and educationally. Visiting New York City years ago was what inspired me to study architecture, so viewing it with an architectural lens this time around was a plus!

What is the one thing you know now that you wish you would have known about your first day at UF?

I wish I would’ve known that everyone is experiencing the same things as you – so give yourself some grace and try to have fun! I still must remind myself of this as well as taking things one day at a time.

How important is the DCP network of graduates across the globe?

The amazing thing about DCP is that these disciplines will always be needed and are continuing to grow as the world changes. There are so many amazing alumni who love to help students and network with them from every corner of the world. My mom never fails to remind me about the many “Go Gators!” she gets when traveling in her UF gear!

Moss is a third-year architecture student getting a minor in sustainability and the built environment.
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