Go to class, take notes, leave. This is the routine of many students who may say at the end of the semester, “I don’t even know the name of the professor I had for that class.” This may be the easiest way to approach college, but it is definitely not the most beneficial. Here are six reasons you should get to know the person at the front of the room.
Letters of Recommendation
Scholarships, jobs and graduate school applications are going to require letters of recommendation. Having a professor that you have gotten to know and who can speak highly of you will be a great go-to person for these letters. If you have invested the time to get to know your professor, you will be more comfortable requesting a letter from them. And if they know you well they will be able to detail their recommendation accordingly. The more in-depth their testament to the type of student you are, the better their letter of recommendation will be.
It is likely that your professor is well connected in the industry you are earning a degree in. Many professors know influential industry leaders because of research they have done or they taught them in the past. Former students who have gone on to be successful in the field could be a great networking connection that your professor could supply. Their experience and networks can also help lead you to internships or on-campus work opportunities.
Enjoy Class More
If you know your professor and have built a professional relationship with them, you will enjoy class as an opportunity to learn from someone you know and respect.
More Comfortable Asking for Help
Not every class is going to be easy. Many times asking for a professors help can make all the difference in understanding the material. It will be much easier to ask for this help if you don’t feel like you are asking a stranger.
Succeed in Their Class
One way to start the first conversation with your professor is to ask them how you can succeed in their class. Professors are all different and all have their own priorities within their classroom. Show your professor that you care about what is important to them. This is a great way to start the conversation as you get to know them better.
Many times when you look at the syllabus, class participation is listed as a percentage of your final grade. That makes participating in class just as important as completing homework assignments. If you are uncomfortable participating or speaking out in class, getting to know your professor is a way to increase your comfort level.
The good thing is professors make it easy for you to get to know them. Many have office hours so you can easily make an appointment to come and talk with them. But do not be afraid to ask your professor to coffee or lunch on-campus. Ask them questions about how they became a professor and their career experience. Get to know who they are as an academic and a professional, you will not regret it.
At South College, our experienced faculty are invested in the success of each individual student. If you are interested in becoming a student, contact us today.