Data Center Operations Graduate Returns to NOVA as Adjunct Faculty Member

August 26, 2022

Albertine Djoumou Nkombou has worked diligently to make a name for herself as an engineer while ensuring that support for women like her in the tech industry continues. Like many students in NOVA’s renowned 'Data Center Operations' program, Nkombou found a job almost immediately upon starting the program.

After graduating from NOVA just last year, she has grown from student to NOVA DCO adjunct faculty member while still working as a facilities engineer at Digital Realty. The institution is excited to have her back as she begins this fall semester!

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I am from Cameroon, central Africa and came to the U.S. to continue my studies. My sister happens to live in Northern Virginia, and she wanted me to be here with her as we were really, really close. She was my role model growing up. We both wanted to be close to each other, and having that warmth was fantastic.

I am so excited to be starting as an adjunct faculty member in the Data Center Operations program. I had achieved a bachelor’s in physics from University of Yaounde 1 and then had come to NOVA to pursue an associate degree in data center operations. I also just recently started a master’s degree in data center engineering at a university in Belgium.

How do you feel returning to NOVA as a faculty member?

I feel really excited about it. NOVA has given me so much – not only as a student but as a person in general. I left my country to come to the United States, and NOVA accepted me as an international student. So, for me to go from international student to an adjunct faculty at NOVA – it is incredible.

What did you study at NOVA?

I started in NOVA’s engineering program in the associate of science while still taking ESL courses. Then I discovered the data center program that was just starting at NOVA. I then decided to transfer to the associate of applied sciences with a focus on data center engineering operations management.

I am still currently facilities engineer with Digital Realty. I feel excited to do both. Before I was hired as an adjunct, I was already helping students with their homework. This is just making it official.

What do you think about moving the representation needle for Women in Tech?

I really feel grateful to be at the forefront of women entering the technology field. I don’t necessarily code, but I am a current facilities engineer. I want to work on bringing more women to the industry. Outside of just being an engineer, I want to see what I can bring to the table and help more women.

I try to support the women that are entering the technology space. I help with resume writing; or if I hear about a networking event, I tell other women that I know. Whatever I hear about, I tell others so that I can be helpful for other women

I really want to do more. I am actually trying to learn more about how I can create a support group for women in engineering. I also noticed from my experience in working in a male- dominated industry, I think about how I can support the industry by diversifying the talent. I want people to be confident in who they are.

Tell Us About Your Experience at NOVA (i.e., professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met)

I want to give a big shoutout to Amir Mahmood. He has been a huge inspiration to me. He keeps pushing me to believe in myself, and he assures me that I can do this.

I also want to give a shoutout to all the other people in the data center engineering program at NOVA. I love that we all keep in touch and we always think about the people coming after us.

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