The Importance of Getting to Know Your Professors

Whether you are taking classes online or on campus, getting to know your professors is important. They post their office hours, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses on their syllabi for a reason. Professors encourage students to communicate with them, ask questions, and be engaged to help them reach success. 

Four Reasons Why Building Relationships with Professors is Important

  1. Professors are more likely to help you when you are struggling, have questions, or have a request.
  2. Meeting with your professors can lead to a new contact that can write letters of recommendation for jobs, scholarships, or internships.
  3. Professors can serve as mentors.
  4. They can help clarify course material and help you prepare for exams.

Tips on How to Build Impactful Relationships With Professors

Read the syllabus – Read the course syllabus to get to know your professor, expectations, policies, and how to communicate with them. If you need help on how to read a syllabus effectively, check out this post.

Don’t be an online stranger – Online classes can sometimes feel as if you have less interaction with your professor due to the lack of face-to-face opportunities. However, you can still build impactful relationships through calls during office hours and/or emails.  

  • When emailing, be sure your email is professional. Your professional email should introduce yourself and state what class you are enrolled in. Finally, be sure to thank them for their time and promptly respond to any emails they send you.
  • If you are calling your professor, make sure you are prepared with questions you want to ask or topics you want to discuss. Lastly, be sure to always thank them for speaking with you.

Be an engaged student – Being an engaged student is a great way to build a relationship with your professor. Show engagement by participating in class, online message boards, stop by their office, or email them. 

Your professors are there to help you succeed in class, but they will not give you a handout. Keep in mind that does not mean they will not help you; be prepared to work hard and show them your dedication to their class. You will be surprised at the outcome!