Get to know your Professors

Get to know your Professors

One of the best ways to ensure a successful college career is to get to know your professors. They can be excellent resources for networking, career information, letters of recommendation and references.

Tips for getting to know your Professors:
  • Introduce yourself the first day of class. It can seem daunting, but simply saying "Hello, I'm            , I'm a           major and am really looking forward to this class." will make you stand out among your peers.
  • Participate! Speaking up in class lets the instructor know you understand and care about course material.
  • Attend office hours, even if you don't need help with course material. Office hours are useful for:
    • receiving one-on-one help on course material
    • paper consultation
    • learning about your Professor's field, research and experience
    • Letting the Professor know you career goals
    • asking about internships and career advice
So make the effort to get to know your Professor. You never know, they might be an important contact down the road!!


    Why connect with your Professors?

    When I think back on my college days, I remember viewing many of my professors as larger than life figures.  They were these lofty adults that seemingly had nothing in common with a young college student like me.  I remember even joking with some of my friends as we imagined them doing common everyday tasks like getting trays from the cafeteria and using the common area bathrooms.  It seemed funny to us that these so-called giants of academia would have to wrestle with such mundane tasks.

    And that image remained with me for many of my professors during my entire undergraduate experience.  However, for a few of my professors that image quickly changed.  The professors that I got a chance to talk to both inside and outside the classroom suddenly didn’t seem so scary anymore.  After talking with them, I quickly realized that these were real and interesting people just like me.  Not only that, but most of them were eager to share their knowledge and expertise with students.  My youth and inexperience wasn’t an annoyance to them.  They were actually excited to share their thoughts with someone willing to listen and soak it all in.  What a great resource at my fingertips!

    Most professors at Oakland have specific office hours dedicated to meeting with students and enjoy making that connection.  So even if you are doing well in a course, take advantage of these hours and meet with your professor.  You might be surprised at how good the experience can be, and the connections you make can be helpful down the line by providing help in future courses, research opportunities within the department, or possible letters of recommendation for jobs or graduate work after college. 

    Every major in the College of Arts & Sciences here at Oakland also has a Faculty Adviser that is specifically assigned to meet with students in that major.  So take advantage of that opportunity as well and meet with your designated adviser today! 
    (Go to and scroll down to the Faculty Advisers pdf.)
    Who knows what doors that meeting could open?