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5 Tips To Get To Know Your Professor

by Margaret Hurst
Marketing Specialist

July 10, 2015

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 invaluable.

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 professor.

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 introduction email.

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 their insights.

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 work possible.

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 degree online.

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