Rachelle Emard (AOF ’04) had a life changing internship with Merrill Lynch in her junior year at Southwest Miami Senior High School that boosted her confidence, changed her expectations, and eventually led to her working for the number one search engine in the world.
Rachelle worked under Ruth Cooper, a 30-year veteran of Merrill Lynch, and was the first intern she had who wasn’t an MBA candidate. Still, Ruth took Rachelle under her wing and became not just a supervisor, but also a mentor.
“Everything I did, she took seriously,” said Rachelle.
Ruth challenged Rachelle to step out of her comfort zone by researching the top 10 undergrad business programs and applying to them. When Rachelle’s SAT scores came back, Ruth pushed her to retake the test.
During her senior year, Rachelle received a Miami Herald Silver Knight Award, a prestigious award for South Florida High School students, and NAF’s Citigroup scholarship, making college an option within reach.
While most of her classmates attended colleges in Florida, Rachelle attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She was the first in her family to go to college, inspiring her father, who then decided to attend college.
After college Rachelle went to Qatar for two years to work for Carnegie Mellon’s branch campus as a career counselor. Being abroad was a huge learning experience for her and she really enjoyed working with students. She had considered working in finance and consulting, but her heart wasn’t in it.
Back in the U.S. she got an offer from Google and joined their New York office as a University Programs Coordinator, where she is currently employed and working to build relationships with students and professors in the U.S. and Argentina.
“It could have gone any other way. A lot of my friends were pregnant and a lot of people I know didn’t go to college. My teachers really cared about me and I came away feeling like I had an expertise.”
Rachelle Emard (AOF ’04) was chosen as the alumni speaker for the upcoming NAF Benefit. She will share her experiences in a NAF academy and describe how they helped guide her through college and enabled her to pursue a promising career.