Your professor is your top resource for your course material
and your number one subject matter expert. Building a strong relationship with
them can help you do better in the course, better understand the material, and
even gain some career insights. Plus, walking out of a class with a professor
that knows you well enough to give you a strong professional reference is
Building a good relationship with your professor has a lot
of benefits, but how do you go about it? It can be tough, especially if you’re
earning your degree online.
Don’t be intimidated—your professors want to get to know
you, too! Follow our five tips to build a good relationship with your
Tip #1: Introduce Yourself
On the first day of class, be sure to introduce yourself to
your professor in a one-on-one situation. Shake their hand, and give a short
introduction of yourself. Be sure to let them know that you’re looking forward
to taking their class. Bonus points if you mention the topic that you’re most
excited to cover off of the syllabus! If you’re in an online class, send an
Tip #2: Follow Up
Introducing yourself on the first day is an important and
necessary step. However, you can be sure that you won’t be the only one doing
it. Send a follow up email that night reiterating your interest in the subject,
and ask any questions that may have come up when you read the syllabus.
Tip #3: Speak Up In Class
Come to class prepared with some questions and comments
about the reading or homework. Participating in class discussions are a great
way to build rapport with your professor and your classmates. It shows your
professor that you’re taking the course seriously.
If you’re earning your degree online, then online
discussions are probably a part of your grade. Follow our tips on how to impress in online discussions.
Tip #4: Ask About Their Professional Past
Your professors have more to teach you than just what’s in
the textbook. They have years of industry experience and are happy to share
Ask about how they got their first job in their field or
what their most rewarding experience was. Not only will this help get a
conversation going, but you’ll learn a lot about what it takes to succeed in
your future career.
Tip #5: Go To Office Hours
This one is critical. Office hours are when you have the
opportunity to speak one-on-one with your professor. This is the arena where
you’ll have the most meaningful discussions. Plus, since it’s just the two of
you, you get the individual attention you need to fully understand the
material. It also shows that you’re committed to the course and doing your best
If you’re in an online class, there will likely be times
when your professor is available for instant messaging. Don’t miss out on the
opportunity to get to know your professors just because you’re earning your
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