BSCI Alumni Spotlight: Anna LaRock ’20
Anna LaRock is Assistant Preconstruction Manager at Evergreen Construction in Atlanta.
She was named Outstanding Undergraduate Student when she graduated from the McWhorter School of Building Science in December 2020 and has been with Evergreen since then. LaRock says that the transition from student to professional was a smooth one, although she was happy to be done with homework and tests. “The structure of school and my career was pretty similar,” she explained. “BSCI gave me a great foundation to easily move from school to work.”
As a student at Auburn, she interned with JES Holdings LLC and completed the Virtual Internship Program with Juneau Construction. Although she began her new job at the height of the pandemic, she felt lucky to be full-time in person at Evergreen’s headquarters. She was also fortunate to have a fellow Auburn alum at Evergreen with her: Emily Chegwidden Hayes, who graduated from BSCI in 2003. Hayes has been with Evergreen for 15 years, and after several years in a client relationship management role she has returned to operations as a Project Manager. LaRock said that being able to ask questions of Hayes and other managers has been important in her career, and she recommends that current students always ask all the questions they have. After working in the industry for over a year, she finds that she still has many questions on a daily basis and knowing who to ask for answers is essential.
Being in Preconstruction at Evergreen means that LaRock is getting a lot of experience in different areas. On her first day on the job, she immediately started working on the company’s successful bid to build an Amazon distribution center. She is currently working on a mixed-used facility on the Beltline in Atlanta, a residential building with ground floor retail space, and the company is also moving into building multi-family projects and large apartment complexes. “These are my favorite projects to work on because they have so many different parts and pieces,” she stated.
In her career, LaRock found that both the coursework and communication skills she learned at Auburn are essential to being successful in the industry. She feels the ability to understand construction drawings, taught early in the curriculum in the Documents class, is one of the most important. “I have to make sure subcontractors are quoting the right products. If I didn’t know how to read plans, then I couldn’t do my job.” Her participation in one of BSCI’s competition teams was also helpful in terms of presenting information and communicating with colleagues. In addition to being a successful student at Auburn, LaRock was also a valued student worker in the BSCI office in Gorrie. “I spent almost all of my time in Gorrie,” she explained. “Brandon (Clarke), Angie (White), Eva (Wesche) and Joline (Landry) were so easy to work for that I always looked forward to coming to work. They have helped me to be who I am today.”