Seeing your professors during class may seem like enough. It’s not.
Professors have office hours to help students with additional questions about their class material, and taking advantage of those opportunities can be beneficial to your college education and future career.
1. Increased knowledge:
Whether it’s due to embarrassment, lack of time, or something else, it can be difficult to ask questions in class, especially in large-sized classes. Going to your professors during their office hours will give you a chance to have the concepts you’ve been struggling with explained to you in more detail. Conversely, if there’s an area you’re doing well in and want more advanced knowledge, office hours are a great time to bring this up. Solidifying your knowledge can potentially lead to higher grades and could prepare you more fully for the working world.
2. Relationship building:
Visiting your professors during office hours will help you form a personal relationship with them. They’ll recognize your name and face and thus may pay more attention to your progress in their classes. You’ll be more at the top of their minds, making them more willing to write recommendation letters on your behalf, offer career advice, or even provide you with teaching or research assistantship opportunities.
MPOWER Pro-tip 1
Being a research or teaching assistant is a great way to pay for college. A position working for a professor can sometime serve as something akin to a scholarship grant, where you get college funding and have part or all of your tuition covered simply by working in a subject area you are already interested in.
MPOWER Pro-tip 2
If you are asking a professor for a recommendation letter for graduate school, a job, or a scholarship, make sure you give them as much notice as possible. Professors are typically inundated with requests and it is important to respect their time (it also lessens the chances of them doing a rushed job).
Your professors want you to learn and be successful. You might be tired from classes, extracurricular activities, internships, part-time jobs, projects, and homework, but cultivating relationships with professors during office hours is worth the effort. You may even find yourself with a life-long mentor!
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