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  • Destenie Nock

Career Update! Job search done...I have been hired!

Updated: Apr 29, 2019

March 12, 2019 by Destenie Nock


I am so excited to announce that following my graduation from the Industrial Engineering PhD program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, my new academic home will be the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University! It has been a long road (58 job applications, 8 interviews), and a very tough decision (5 job offers), but I am very excited for this next step. For the first year I will be a Presidential Post-Doctoral Fellow, and starting Fall 2020 I will transition to being a full-time tenure-track assistant professor in the Civil Engineering, and Engineering & Public Policy Departments.

As a post-doc and assistant professor my work will focus on using mathematical models to determine how we can use engineering tools to increase quality of life for people around the world. In general I am drawn to topics relating to international development, equity issues, electricity planning, energy policy, and sustainable development.

One thing I am most excited about it to continue the research I have started in electricity access and equality by partnering with the Carnegie Mellon Africa campus in Rwanda. Another thing I am excited about is to finally have an office with a window that looks outside and not into a hallway (#GradStudentStruggles).

If you are ever in Pittsburgh I highly recommend checking out the Carnegie Mellon campus! It is beautiful.

I would like to commemorate this occasion with a poem:

So the interview season has come and went

I must tell you my brain is spent

Why am I smiling you might ask

That's because I have finally accomplished my task

That's right I have some awesome news!

It blew me away so hold on to your shoes

First a post doc then a professor

On a tenure track and nothing lesser.

Since high school I've wanted to teach

This goal only took a decade to reach

There's more to the story that I be tellin'

I almost forgot the's Carnegie Mellon

The college of engineering will be my new place

That's why you see this huge smile upon my face

From quiet to happy to almost in tears

I was overwhelmed by the moment I'd wanted for years

When the tears subsided I was jumping with glee

I feel bad for the students that won't know what to do with me.

Thanks; Destenie Nock; BEYA
This success was made in part by everyone that has helped me and supported me along the way. Thank you!

The journey to, through, and beyond the PhD has not been done on my own and I could not properly end this blog post without thanking some people:

  1. My fiance Martin - Thank you for helping me prepare for every interview and for not letting me give up on this dream!

  2. Dr. Baker - This woman always told me I could do it, and was great at guiding me through research and letting me grow both personally and professionally

  3. Dr. Kebede - The first professor to mentor me for an undergraduate research project. He told me "I don't care if you get a PhD in milking a cow! You need to go get one." Industrial Engineering isn't quite milking a cow....but it almost just as good.

  4. Dr. Burns - The first professor I heard tell a class that we should all consider a PhD because 4 years to get a degree is really not a long time. She is the reason I had the goal to finish a PhD in 4 years.

  5. Mr Goldstein and Ms Redgate - In high school you all encouraged me to grow as a leader and go to the Maryland Leadership Workshop. I still use strategies I learned there.

  6. Dr. Barber and Dr. Tom Smith - She took me on my first study abroad in Africa and Tom convinced me to go. Thank you for opening my eyes to the equity and equality issues around the world.

  7. Mom and Dad - Thank you for making sure I knew how important education was growing up and for not completely freaking out when i decided not to pursue a high paying job right after my BS degree, and instead spend 4 years in graduate school.

  8. Anyone that answered the phone, let me sit in their office, or responded to a frantic e-mail in the last 8 months - during the interview process I had a good amount of freak out moments and I really appreciate all of those that let me talk through my thought process, prepare for an interview, think about negotiations, or helped me decide which job offer to accept.

Thanks for reading! If you would like to keep up with the journey, and never miss an update I welcome you to subscribe below (I promise not to spam you). Future blog posts will include research updates, and my experience on the job market, as well as tips for setting yourself up for success.

Note about the author: Destenie Nock is a 4th year PhD Candidate in Industrial Engineering who's work focuses on using mathematics to understand how we can increase social welfare, and enhance a person's quality of life. She will graduate with her PhD in May and is very excited to work with students in the coming years. She will be a post-doc and then an assistant professor in the the Civil Engineering and Engineering & Public Policy Departments at Carnegie Mellon. In her quest for the ultimate office she is hoping to get an office that looks at some trees. #LifeGoals.

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