Earning a college degree can make you more marketable in the workplace, but attending college is about more than just getting the degree (and no, we’re not talking about the parties). Positive relationships with your professors are the key to success and succeeding in life after graduation.
When applying for work, have connections with others in your field can give you a critical “foot in the door” for the best jobs. Imagine that you just graduated from a good nursing program. Your program itself can help you find employment by hosting job fairs and putting you in contact with a good healthcare employer, but your professors can also help you network. Most nursing instructors have worked in the field themselves, and they can advise you on the sorts of employers with whom you should apply.
In addition to helping you network, professors can give you excellent career advice too. Suppose you are looking to work in a very competitive field, such as higher education. Most students, even on the graduate level, are clueless about how to put together teaching artifacts and a teaching statement. However, a good professor can advise you on both of these things. They can also tell you where to look for job postings, give interview tips, and answer your research-based questions.
Letters of Recommendation
For students who hope to score an internship or get into a graduate program, obtaining glowing letters of recommendation from professors is helpful. Because of most professors’ personal ethics, they will not write a good letter for someone they don’t know or who did poorly in their class. Thus, in order to get even a halfhearted nod from a professor, in most cases you must be at least an above average student with regular attendance.
Professors who have been teaching for years will only remember the names of some of their students over time, and in order to get a good recommendation you must make sure you’re remembered. For starters, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Strike up a conversation with your professor after class. Show that you’re interested in the subject, or compliment the professor on a lesson that you believe he or she delivered well.
Help With Choosing Campus Activities
Another way to improve your chances of landing a good job is to have excellent extracurricular activities listed on your resume or curriculum vitae. Your professors can help you decide which clubs and organizations to join on campus. For instance, a journalism major might want to learn more about the student broadcasting club or the student-run newspaper. A journalism professor could give that student insider knowledge on the newspaper and the broadcasting club. Think of your professors as your guides to campus life. Show an interest in the organizations available in your department. Joining a club could also lead to a leadership role, which would impress your professors even more.
Whether you realize it now or not, the people who work in your field are often those you have the most in common with. This is true today, and it will probably be true twenty years from now, too. Developing a good relationship with your professor would mean that you’re more likely to keep in touch with him or her after you graduate. Your relationship with your professor could turn into a good friendship, maybe one of the most meaningful ones you’ll ever have.
College professors can have an impact on your life, and not just in the classroom. To increase your chances of getting a good job, and to make a lifelong connection with your professors, do your best to impress them by showing interest and excelling in the classroom.
Shae Holland is a professional copywriter who currently writes for Western Governors University on a range of topics. She’s passionate about healthy living, loves hunting, and adores her two springer spaniels.
Why You Need Good Relationships with Your Professors