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When students get ready to graduate they’re usually looking for references. Getting to know your professors is a great way to graduate with professional references in hand. So for this Share with Cher, I’ve got the scoop on how to go about getting to know your professors.
Kevin Skidmore, adjunct communication instructor, said the most important thing is: if you want a positive reference, you need to make a positive impression on the professor.
Makenzie Phillips, former adjunct faculty member in the communication department, said the best way to make a good impression is by making yourself known in class. According to Phillips, attendance and contributing to in class discussions are huge factors in that
“Number one thing is show up,” Phillips said. “I can’t stress attendance enough. The number two thing is office hours are great. They’re usually really boring for professors, so if you happen to be in the area you should stop by.”
Phillips added that taking the initiative to communicate with your professors demonstrates that you are willing to go above and beyond.
Although, according to Phillips some professors will be more open to getting to know their students and more social by nature.
“In that case, meeting for coffee or something like that is probably appropriate,” Phillips said.
Phillips also indicated that it’s best to suggest simply getting together. Then let the professor indicate what type of meeting he or she prefers (office hours, before or after class, or for coffee).
Skidmore recommended starting the process by telling the professor you would like to know more about them.
“(Suggest) something that would be business-related, but lead to a more personal relationship,” Skidmore said. “There’s nothing wrong with having personal relationships, just not dating (professors).”
Skidmore also added there’s nothing wrong with asking to be mentored by the professor and suggesting weekly meetings.
“That is a powerful relationship to form, that could go a lifetime,” Skidmore said.