Where Are They Now: Virginia Tech’s Rachel Dobroth

Virginia Tech (VT) communications alumna Rachel Dobroth was recruited to the school’s Hybrid Electric Vehicle Team (HEVT) through her involvement with VT’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She served as Outreach Coordinator during the third year of EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge.

“The team leaders reached out to me as PRSSA president,” she said. “As I learned more about the job, I realized it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

One of Rachel’s favorite moments of the EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge competition was gaining rewarding experiences, meeting brilliant people and seeing VT’s HEVT announced as the overall winner at the Year Three awards ceremony. “I knew how hard our engineers and leadership worked to make our car a success, and I was honored to join them on stage to collect our first-place trophy,” she said.

Dobroth and the VT Team Winning 1st Place at the Year Three Awards Ceremony

Immediately after college, Rachel went on to work at an event and conference-planning firm, using planning skills honed through EcoCAR on a daily basis.

“There was a great deal of planning involved in my outreach coordinator role,” she said. “EcoCAR pushed me to be my own boss and learn to set and achieve ambitious goals. I learned the best ways to be professional, yet assertive in making sure my voice was heard.”

Rachel is currently a contract negotiator for Lockheed Martin. “I think of my experiences with EcoCAR often as I work closely with engineers to interpret technical material in a way that is logical and accessible to a general audience,” she said. “EcoCAR provided so many opportunities to build a strong professional foundation, and I’ve absolutely stressed that background in every job I’ve held.”