Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Visiting a Professor during Office Hours: What do I say?

It's October. The semester is in full swing. Midterms are coming up. Papers are due. And your professor or TA doesn't know you by name in those 300+ lecture classes in Mahar 108 or Marcus 131 or Bartlett 65. They have office hours listed--but why bother visiting them for a class of 300+ students? What would you say to them anyway?

Does that sound like you?  If so, you can read Meeting With A Professor, or for a quicker version, here are some things to think about:

You don't have to wait to 'have something to say/ask' in order to say hello. It can be as simple as saying: "Hi, I'm in your M/W/F class and I just wanted to introduce myself..." If you DO have questions or concerns about an upcoming test or paper, then don't hesitate to stop by and ask--that is EXACTLY what professors' hold office hours for. And that may make the class feel smaller, despite the size.

Plus, If you WANT to stand out, stopping by during office hours will leave more of an impression than a PRS or Blue Book exam; this is especially useful if you are considering declaring your major in that department. It's never too early to network. As corny as this may sound, professors are people too! They will probably appreciate interested and engaged students asking follow-up questions and most are eager to help. But if you don't ask, then how will he or she know you ARE interested?

By the way, if you can't make it during their office hours, try emailing and requesting a meeting.

REMEMBER! Spire will be down from Oct. 8th-Oct. 14th and degree progress reports will be unavailable until November--so PRINT YOUR DEGREE PROGRESS REPORTS BEFORE 5PM on Oct 8th if you plan on meeting with a professor and requesting advice on classes, majors, etc.

Good luck!

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