Whether you’re a young student looking to get their degree or an older student trying to elevate your education and move forward in your career, there can be great benefit from getting to know your university professors and having a professional relationship that can transcend your collegiate years. So if you have a professor or two who you have taken a liking to and would love to have in some type of mentorship capacity, here are three tips for building a professional relationship with your college professors.
Participate In Your Classes
In the classroom is likely the first place that you’ll meet your professors. And since your professor probably has multiple classes that he or she is teaching throughout the week, you’ve got to do something that makes yourself memorable and starts your relationship out on the right foot. To do this, InternQueen.com suggests that you do your best to be an active participant in class. By answering questions, asking questions, and being a willing participant in the lectures and discussions that happen in the classroom, you and your professor will be able to make an appropriate educational connection with each other that could move beyond just the classroom.
Be Social Outside Of Class
Finding the right balance of being social with your professors outside of class can be challenging in some situations. While you don’t want to get into a situation where either person is taking advantage of the other or acting inappropriately, you can and should try to find ways to interact with your professor in school-related functions. According to Stanley O. King, a contributor to APA.org, some of the best ways to do this include attending departmental functions or seminars and joining certain committees where you’ll be working closely with faculty members. If any of these types of things are available to you, try to find time in your schedule to become a part of these groups or events.
Don’t Shy Away From Office Hours
In almost every university, professors are required to be available for office hours. This means that they have time set aside in their schedule where they’re in their office and available for students who need their help or assistance. While meeting with your professor one-on-one can be intimidating at times, Catherine Denial, a contributor to Teen Vogue, shares that coming to your professor during their office hours can be a great way to get personal attention that you might need or ask questions about assignments or exams. In fact, you may even ask about professional advice for your future. Hopefully, your professors will feel that it’s part of their job to help you succeed, both in their class and in your career, so they’ll likely be willing to guide you however they can.
To help you further your career in school and in the workforce, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you build professional relationships with your professors while in college.