Most students here find it difficult getting to know their professors
on a first-name basis. After all, we attend one of the largest public
schools in the nation. So many of us are vying for our professor's
attention, whether it be for a letter of recommendation, advice on
future career options, or perhaps succeeding in their classes. So many
of us want our voice to simply be heard.
So, how exactly do you make yourself stand out? How exactly do you
build relationships with your professors? Here are a few tips I
1. Stay after class to ask questions. If you happen to be confused
about a concept in lecture, don't just leave the moment it's over!
Instead, walk up to your professor and kindly ask him/her if they
could elaborate further. Most professors don't mind spending a few
extra minutes outside of class. Staying after shows you actually care
about their lecture, and it allows your professor to remember your
face the next time you see them!
2. Attend office hours. Office hours is the time where you can truly
get to know your professors. Have a list of questions on lecture
material you want them to address. And if you don't need any actual
help, just attend anyway! Listen to what others have to say or ask and
contribute to the conversation. But most importantly, be consistent
and attend office hours regularly. Professors should definitely
remember your face and name as the semester goes on.
3. Schedule an individual appointment. This is even better than office
hours! Much better. It's just you and the professor one-on-one. But
don't freak out! Professors are there to actually help you, not hurt
you. In this situation, feel free to talk more about yourself, your
career goals, and any questions or concerns about the class. Strike up
a conversation! Ask them about their research. Be punctual, dress
casually, and most importantly be yourself.
4. Take all of their classes. Most professors teach more than class.
Research when those other classes are offered. If one of those classes
happens to be offered the very next semester then take it! It's simply
another opportunity of getting to know your professor even further.
5. Get affiliated with student groups. Some student groups mcbUSA or
the Biology Scholars Program offer students the opportunity to network
with their professors, whether via luncheons or seminars. It's a great
way for you and your professor to have casual conversations outside of
class. Also... free food!
Hope this helps!