Making time to meet with your professors after class and during office hours is essential to setting yourself up for academic and professional success. Meeting with your professors not only allows you to gain a better understanding of class material, but also gives your professors the opportunity to learn more about you.
Benefits of Meeting With Your Professors:
- Get extra help – Are you struggling with an assignment or having trouble understanding a concept from class? A discussion with your professor can bring more clarity to the material and will give you the chance to ask questions you did not have the opportunity to ask in class.
- Review your essay draft – Talk about the strength of your thesis, or part of an essay draft that you’ve been writing. Even if you only have the bare bones of an outline, a chat with your professor can help fill in the gaps and bolster your arguments.
- Discuss a subject from your class that you are interested in personally and professionally – Is there material from class that you feel especially interested in personally and you want to dig deeper? Do you envision yourself in the future as a professional whose work is closely related to the class material? Meeting with your professor can help you align your personal interests and passions with your academic and professional goals.
- Networking – Talk with your professors about searching for opportunities to gain professional experience and to apply what you’ve learned from their courses outside the classroom. Ask them about study abroad, alternative spring break, summer internships or any job opportunities. They may have information on programs that aren’t widely publicized or they may personally know of available opportunities through their own personal network. Also, establishing a strong academic relationship with someone who could write you a professional recommendation will be crucial when you apply for jobs, summer programs and graduate school in the future.
Keep In Mind:
- When professors list “office hours” on their syllabi, they may not intend for those office hours to be “drop-in hours” for unscheduled meetings. Always ask or email ahead to schedule an appointment during office hours.
- If you’re having trouble in a course, don’t wait until midterms or until finals to meet with your professor, you never want to give your professors the impression that you waited until the last minute to see them. Make time to meet with them early in the semester so you can work to avoid any crises later on.
- Go into your meeting organized. Prepare beforehand by writing out specific questions that you want to go over.
Philadelphia Futures Staff and Students Share Their Experiences:
In the comment section below, share an experience of how meeting with your professors after class or during office hours has benefited you academically, personally or professionally!