Thursday, February 12, 2015

Haley’s Tip of the Week: Meet with Your Professors!

Sometimes at such a big school it’s easy to simply go through the motions and let other students take the lead. But this doesn’t have to be you! Meeting with professors is a great way to advocate for yourself and establish roots here at the university. It’s a simple action with optimal benefits.

One main benefit is your grades. Having a discussion about the course your professor is teaching often promotes higher marks. Find out when their office hours are and pay them a visit! As a first year student, I often felt nervous and intimidated when meeting with a professor. I was embarrassed when I had questions or wasn't grasping the concepts like other students. I eventually accepted that it was not the time to be shy, and I urge you to do the same! Many students feel that they need to have a specific question in order to attend their professor’s office hours but this is not the case. In general, professors really enjoy discussing their field and love when students express interest in course content. Having this face-to-face contact shows the professor that you are invested and have taken the time to do well in the course. This is usually remembered when final grades are prepared.

Another great benefit of meeting with your professor is building a personal and professional relationship with a faculty member on campus that can be extremely rewarding.  This may be someone you return to to ask advice about future course selections or activities on campus. This connection could end up being a key part in your future. Professors often have many networking opportunities and are eager to share them with engaged students. These relationships are also crucial when it comes to planning for after graduation where most positions and graduate schools require recommendation letters. As someone who knows you and your academic history, they may feel comfortable and confident in writing you a strong letter.

So, the sooner you meet with your professor the better! Try not to wait until the end of the semester to have a chat. 

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