Asia Feature

Rachael Macdonald: Living Off the Land, Life at Adobe and Fighting the Australian Bushfires

March 17, 2020

As a young girl, Rachael remembers growing up on the land in Australia. Being raised in a farming family, Rachael saw how important the climate was. When she was young her family could anticipate the seasons and how the weather would affect their land, and could plan 12-months out to their advantage. But as Rachael puts it, “Today you can’t do that anymore. The Climate is too volatile now, and with the fires this year and the pain and suffering they have brought, it’s really made me think about living my life in the best way that I can. Focusing and giving everything I can to my work, my community and my family, because things can happen outside of your control, so live it while you can.”

This way of thinking is exactly what helped Rachael raise her hand and pursue a new role at Adobe that would help her transform the future of state and federal government experiences. But before starting her new role on the Professional Services Sales team, Rachael decided to take time-off to support a cause near and dear to her roots: tackle the Australian bushfires with the Rural Fire Service.

First off, I’d like to know more about your decision to volunteer with the Rural Fire Service to take on the bushfires in Australia. What drove you to do that?

I’ve been part of the fire service since I was a whippersnapper! I’ve always lived on the land, so it was a very normal thing to join the local fire brigade. But I hadn’t been part of my local brigade since I moved to my new town. But on Christmas Eve, I was at my local community spot and a few volunteer fire fighters came in after a day’s work and they were really tired. I thought about my training and I went up to the fire captain and asked if they needed another member. The very next day I was on the fire truck.

When I got to the heart of it, the number of fires burning across the Country was nothing like I’d ever seen before. We were completely surrounded by fires—flames that were sometimes up to 40-50 meters high. We were fighting and protecting as much as we could. We didn’t win all the time, but we were keeping our community safe.

Rachael and her fellow fire fighters taking on the bushfires.
Rachael and her fellow fire fighters taking on the bushfires.

What was going through your head during those moments?

Standing there with a 25mm hose against 50 meter flames certainly makes you think about what you’re doing in life. There were some emotional days. There was one house in particular that I remember. We set up to protect it, and after the first day we thought we’d won. Two days later, the fire came back from another side. We went back to fight, lost some sheds but saved the house. A few days later, flames came back for the third time from another direction. This time it took all the sheds, left lots of damage to the house and all the orchards were gone. It was hard going back to the same place and seeing that. There’s a drop in morale for the crew, but we also knew that if we weren’t there, more would be lost.

How do you bring this same sort of drive to your work?

I’m just starting out in my new role on the Professional Services Sales team, where I’ll be working with government organizations to improve their customer experiences. Right now my mindset is about bringing a lot of focus to get the right outcome. That’s what helped me find this new role internally, and battle the fires. When I saw that my skills matched up, I immediately went for it. If you don’t put your hand up, no one will know. My passion is getting the right outcome. That’s my whole career—getting the right outcomes for my clients.

For people interested in starting a career at Adobe, what advice do you have for them?

I’m not sure where to start! If you want to join, and get the opportunity to, it will be the best thing you’ll do for your career. It’s more than a career—it’s a lifestyle. You live and breathe Adobe, and you come to work proud. You give everything you can to your colleagues and customers, and they give it back. If you have the chance to join us, jump right at it.

Bring your unique skills and background to Adobe, and apply today.