It is easy to go through college going through the motions and trying to just get by. There are many classes you don’t need extra help in because you are doing perfectly fine in the class and don’t need outside help. Even if this is the case it is still VERY important to make a good impression and seek out your professors. By doing this you will make connections you can’t find anywhere else.
By attending a professor’s office hours, even if it is for a simple question you may have, or just checking in, you are showing them you really are investing time into their class and you’re working hard. This will turn out to be especially helpful if it is a class in your major. I know it is often really intimidating to go into a professor’s office hours, but trust me, it helps in more ways than one.
My freshman year I could count on one hand how many times I used a professor’s office hours. I am not saying I would have aced the classes even if I had used the office hour provided more often, but it certainly would have helped. I did not fully understand concepts and I wasn’t searching for help in the best place possible, the primary source! This semester, I have been in every one of my professor’s offices at least three times, and I am doing much better in all of my classes! When you look at a syllabus, grading rubrics, or the grade book and see there are participation points given out in a class that is an 80+ person lecture, you wonder how you are supposed to get those participation points? The way to get them, and boost your grade because of it, is to put a face to your name early in the semester by going into their office hours or introducing yourself so they know who you are and that you are ready to work for the semester. Then check back in periodically throughout to show you are still invested and working hard.
By getting to know professors you are opening so many doors of opportunities. Many professors tend to have a lot of connections outside of the University. Professors may be the resource or the connection you need to land a job or an internship of your choice, especially if they know someone in the company where you are applying. Even if they do not know someone directly in a company, they are a great option for helping you find a job or an internship in your field.
Finally, if you make the connections with your professor, especially the first time you have them (because chances are you will have them again somewhere down the line), they will be an excellent resource when you are looking for references and letters of recommendation. The more established relationship you have with a professor, the more willing they are going to be to write you a good reference. References from professors look great when employers are looking through your references. Having professors listed shows that you were invested, proactive, and interactive with professors and that you really care about your grades and take charge of your goals in life. It also shows that if you have a problem or a question you will be willing to do what it takes in order to get the job done. This is important when employers are hiring someone because they are looking for someone who will most benefit their company and will be willing to work hard to accomplish tasks that are given.
Of Possible Interest:
- The Importance of References
- Why in the World Should I be a Teacher’s Assistant?
- Key to Networking – our Pinterest board with articles & resources
- Networking – all our blog posts on the topic