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College of Design

Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting to know your professors

Hello everyone!

Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful fall weather. As much as I love the warm weather, I definitely love to pile on the scarves and sweaters around this time of year.

One of the hardest transitions for me going from high school to university was figuring out how to get to know my professors. Going from a high school class, with my teachers always knowing my first name to a giant lecture hall makes meeting them a little bit harder. You wonder how you are ever going to get to know any of your professors, let alone build a network with them. Sound like you?

While I am no longer in the giant lecture halls, building relationships with my professors is still something I am working on. They can provide invaluable experiences about your field of work, tips to succeed in your course, and might even help you land a job! Meeting professors in college does require a bit more effort on your part, but it definitely can make a difference in your college career. Here are some tips that have helped me build amazing relationships with our University of Minnesota professors!

-Don’t rush out the door right after class. This might be tempting (especially on the first day), but it is important to introduce yourself and take the initiative.  Especially if later on you need a favor from the professor—an extension or a little bit of help—having built that relationship will make it easier for them to help you!

-Go to office hours. This one came from my mom. It might have taken me a little while (okay, two years) for me to use this one. I always felt that I was taking time out of their day or that I was inconveniencing them. Once I started to go, it really helped me with the course as well as to make talking with my professors less “scary.”

-Stay in touch! I am a huge fan of networking sites like LinkedIn. I always make sure (after introducing myself of course) to connect with my professors. This has helped me network with other organizations as well as to check back in with past professors after our course is over. It is super easy to shoot them an e-mail every once in a while and it really does mean a lot to them! Here I was able to reconnect with a past Leadership professor over coffee…



One of my professors is actually speaking at the upcoming Retail Connect event on October 28th. Having a course with her and getting to know her through class will help me make even more out of this amazing event!

-Jessica