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What would you recommend when trying to make connections with faculty?

As an incoming freshman, I've heard a lot about the importance of making connections with your professors if you want good recommendations or opportunities. What are some tips on how to do that (besides being a respectful and good student)? #student #college #professor #freshman

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Christine’s Answer

Hi Kayleigh,


That's a great question and it's awesome that you're already thinking about this! I'd recommend showing up to your first class 5-10 minutes early to introduce yourself to your professor. It doesn't have to be elaborate and you don't have to have your career all planned out. Introduce yourself, tell your professor where you're from, and tell them that you're excited to be in their class! I also recommend sitting in the front row, or at least close to the front. That way your professor gets to know you and sees that you're engaged in what they're teaching.


That's how I approached building relationships with my professors when I was in college and it worked for me. Professors love it when their students are engaged in what they have to say and are participating in class conversations. If you're engaged, I'm sure you'll come up with some great questions to ask your professor during their office hours, and when you show up, they'll already recognize you from the initial introduction and from you sitting in the front of the class.


Good luck with college and hope this helps!


Christine

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Jennifer’s Answer

I always liked to visit office hours to ask questions on the class topics. However, I would suggest not attending office hours only to network. Professors can tell if you're trying to network for a better grade or if you're genuinely interested and bring in articles you found or have questions on the reading. Being yourself is the best way to make a genuine relationship.

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Ken’s Answer

The most important thing that you can do to facilitate this successful relationship is to determine a suitable career goal, which you could relate to professors. Introducing yourself to your professors and sharing with them how you see them and their courses as a part of your education/career journey and asking for their assistance would be a great way to start.


It all starts with getting to know yourself. Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
• It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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