How to get noticed by professors

By Lwilliams
05/29/2015
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Getting to know your professors in college is a bit different than in high school. For one, your professors might be looking at a classroom of 300 plus students at a time. The chances that they will get to know you, let alone remember your name, could be slim to none. But, there are some big advantages in getting to know them. For one, they are an expert in the field you’re studying. They often have great stories to share, advice to give, and people they know in the business that can help you get your foot in the door after graduation. So, how do you stand out in a crowd? Easy! Just follow these steps on how to get noticed by professors.

1. Show up

Set your emotions to "ready to learn." Courtesy of survivingcollege.com
Set your emotions to "ready to learn." Courtesy of survivingcollege.com.

Seems logical, right? You probably won’t get noticed if you’re not in class. And, even though you’ll stand out more if you show up late, that’s probably not what you should be going for. Arrive on time and ready to learn.

2. Be engaged

"Yes, you in the back." Courtesy of kidsmomo.com
"Yes, you in the back." Courtesy of kidsmomo.com

You don’t have to sit in the front row to get noticed, either. No matter where you sit, you can make your mark if you are an engaged student. Ask questions when you’re not sure on a topic. Share ideas that relate to the lecture. Being an active, in-class participant will show your enthusiasm for learning, and professors love that.

3. Communicate with your professor

Some professors will welcome visitors. Courtesy of Tumblr.com
Some professors will welcome visitors ... Courtesy of Tumblr.com.

Your professor will have open office hours listed on the syllabus. Take the opportunity to make an appointment. You can get homework help, advice on upcoming projects, or even meet to discuss about current events that relate to the class. If you can’t meet in person, send your professor an email. College is all about learning, and that doesn’t necessarily need to take place in the classroom. 

4. Be respectful

Other professors may not welcome chit-chat. Courtesy of Buzzfeed.com
... other professors may not. Courtesy of Buzzfeed.com.

OK, so we know we just told you to talk with your professor. But, we should probably mention to do so respectfully. Your professor is a very busy person. Don’t schedule a meeting just to shoot the bull or flood his/her email inbox with a bunch of random messages hoping to get noticed. Take the opportunity to make conversations and meetings meaningful and worthy of both of your time.

5. Get involved

Indiana Jones
"If you want to be a good archaeologist, you've got to get out of the library." — Dr. Jones. Courtesy of Tumblr.com.

Was your class just discussing Emily Dickinson and you found out about a poetry reading coming up? Is there a foreign film playing that you think would benefit your French class? Let your professor know! Finding ways to put what you learn in college to use outside the classroom are great ways to connect.

Do you have a favorite professor in college? Share your story with us! We just might feature it in an upcoming article.

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