Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Special Messages from Students (Unsolicited and When I Needed a Boost Badly)

In this blog, I often write about what a professor does on a given day and, despite regular teaching schedules, no two days are ever alike. Students are often told that the times that they are in college or in grad school are truly some of the best times of their lives and, sooner or later, they do come to this realization. Although there are numerous "bumps in the road" and the challenges of being a professor never stop, with the heavy loads of research, teaching, and onerous service responsibilities, every once in a while, one receives messages and feedback that make (some of) the workload worthwhile.

Just this week, during a period during which I was feeling especially "bounced around," I received messages from three former students, all of whom had taken my Transportation & Logistics undergraduate course at the Isenberg School. Two of these students will be graduating in May and one, a female, had graduated several years ago and has a marvelous position with a major consulting company. All majored in Operations Management.

One message from a former student said: I am graduating SOM in May. I have never enjoyed course material more so than that offered in your FINOP 341 class. I took it last semester and if you remember, I was the one who tried applying your course material to the transportation problem presented by ... I really, really want to get into the logistics field of business. In four years of class at Isenberg, and numerous internships and co-op opportunities, I have never really found any topic that satisfies me more than logistics and using mathematical algorithm(s) and applications to solve real life problems. The ability to enumerate a practical, real life problem and solve it using logic is among the most satisfying experiences I have encountered...

Another student, whom I nominated for a leadership award, and who will be receiving it soon at a reception at UMass Amherst, which his parents will be attending as well, and so will I, wrote: Great -- I tell my parents a lot about you so I look forward to introducing you! ... I really appreciate your help; it's great to be part of a large University and having someone who cares about you personally really making the large campus experience much easier and more intimate... I wont forget the people who have helped me so much especially as you have done!

Finally, a former student, who graduated a few years ago and has had a very successful professional career, wrote:

Hi Professor Nagurney,

How are you?

Just wanted to let you know that I will be in Amherst this weekend, probably heading up on Friday. I'll be speaking on an Alumni panel for Open House weekend. Let me know if you'll be around on Friday. I would love to stop by and say hello!

To the students who wrote the above messages, I give a BIG Thank You!

Some of my course lecture notes are available here.