The Seven Steps to Better Networking With Your Professors
January 14, 2013
A new semester has most certainly begun! We have seen this scene all too well before. Students are waking up at the crack of dawn and are desperately restraining themselves from pressing the snooze button so they can make it to that 8:00 o’ clock anatomy lab where one learns things that they may not always want to know about.
The lines can get so long at the bookstore that students might as well wait until they receive that good old trusty retirement check. There are so many students running around like crazy trying to find their classes that you would think that the campus all of a sudden turned into a circus show.
The only difference is that you won’t see clowns that wear big, funny, awkward looking shoes actually walk around campus. You would have to go to an actual circus if you wanted to catch a real glimpse of a clown!
However, while the beginning of the semester can seem hectic, it can also be extremely exciting and rewarding. Most importantly, relationships among old students, new students, professors, and faculty are kindled or rekindled.
Evidence shows that students who build a good rapport with their professors are already on their merry way to being successful at college. Here are just a few practical tips that can help you open those doors to better communication with professors.
You might start networking so well with your professors that next thing you know, you find yourself playing a round of golf with them. One word of advice should that happen: whatever you do, just make sure you let them win. Otherwise, you can most certainly forget that letter of recommendation!
Step One: Make sure you speak up in class. You can do this in many ways. You can simply do this by sitting in the front of the class where you are more visible to the professor. Another way this can simply be done is to not be afraid to ask questions. Remember there is no such thing as a stupid question! The stupid thing to do is not ask a question at all.
Step Two: Attend office hours. It is not necessary to go to see your professor every single office hour that he or she has, but you should at least drop by every once in a while if you have any more questions about the class or if you just want to discuss your future career plans.
Step Three: Email your teacher. Furthermore, do not be afraid to drop your professors an email wishing them a Happy Thanksgiving or even a Merry Christmas. Most of your professors will surely appreciate the thought.
Step Four: Try to communicate with your professor over social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook if they have one. But do not add them as a friend until you have built some sort of rapport with them throughout the class.
Step Five: Think about being a teacher’s assistant. This not only improves networking with your professors but also helps you learn about your major of choice.
Step Six: Become involved with any clubs or student groups that your professors may be in charge of.
Step Seven: If one of your professors is holding a formal lecture or forum, make sure that you are there. Be attentive and learn everything you can from it! After the lecture, ask questions. By asking questions, your professor will know not only that you were there but that you take an interest in the subject. Who knows, your professor may give you a pop quiz on the information next class.
By taking these small yet simple steps, not only are you on your way to building positive and lasting relationships with your professors, but you also will be on your way to a great start this semester!