Sara Cushing

 In Civil Engineer, Stories

I am… the president of a family-owned civil engineering company and mother of 1.

I chose Civil Engineering because… I always excelled at math and was drawn to the field because of my father

I like my job because… every project brings new challenges which allows for creative solutions

I want others to know… that Civil Engineering isn’t about crunching numbers all day. To be successful you have to be able to communicate your design well to others.

This is my story… I received my BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008. I decided to go to VCU to follow in the footsteps of my two older sisters. I am one of four girls in my family and we all attended VCU together. Throughout college I interned at a civil engineering firm focused on land development. I really enjoyed the land development design and took a full time job upon graduation. So the crowning moment in most civil engineering careers is obtaining the Professional Engineering license. The first step in getting licensed is passing the Engineer-in-training exam. I took the exam several times before I passed. The score required to pass the test was a 70 and I scored a 69 twice. Each time I failed the exam I swore I would never take it again. But, I always did. And then I finally passed. After working in the field for a few years, I felt like I wanted to know more. I decided to go back to school and get my Master of Science in Real Estate Development from George Mason University. I continued working full time and going to classes at night. It took me two and a half years to complete my degree. I felt like I got a whole new perspective on land development which in turn made me a better engineer. While in graduate school I got married. And by my last semester, I found out I was expecting my first child. Right after graduation it was time to sit for the Professional Engineering exam. I took the exam when I was 6 months pregnant. I remember being one of the only women in the exam room. And I was definitely the only pregnant woman. I ended up passing the exam and became a licensed professional engineer just two months before my daughter was born. Just as I was preparing to return to work following my maternity leave, my dad approached me about an opportunity. My dad is also a licensed Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor with nearly 30 years of experience in land development. He asked me if I would be interested in starting our own civil engineering company. I was thrilled at the idea and we began preparing and strategizing for our new company. Three short months later, Legacy Engineering was born. My father and I have the same business ideals and make a great team. I love running the business and making decisions to constantly improve and grow. I have learned so much in the short time we have been operating and could not imagine doing anything else. I truly love what I do.

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