Habtamu: Networking with professors a must

Habtamu argues that students need to better utilize access to professors and develop more individualized relationships.

Allen Habtamu

Allen HabtamuThe benefits of acquiring more information from a professor outside the conventional classroom setting can be truly rewarding. The daily classroom experience might limit the way a student interacts with his or her professor, considering the number of other students potentially vying for similar attention. Yet, it is the initiative on the student’s part to go above and beyond that separates the average student from the “go-getter.”

“It’s not what you know, but who you know,” is a quote that we’ve all heard at one point in our lives. It helps to bring into focus the topic of constructive relationships with others – especially with professors.

Developing professional relationships is all about networking in today’s world, and a pivotal asset can be one’s professors. Forming a bond with individuals can allow for an exchange of pertinent insight into not only higher levels of academia, but the application of that knowledge to facilitate greater readiness in today’s competitive job market.

Professor Mary Meyers, a professor of landscape architecture at Ambler Campus suggests students seeking additional materials as being, “really mentally engaged.”

“They’re always seeking a little more,” she said.

Meyers said, from her experience, older students tend to have a greater understanding of the value of their education, for they are more likely to be active in educational endeavors than younger students who might refrain from asking questions or seeking advice.

Professors also allow for students to partake in conversations with them, whether it be an opportunity to bond, or a problem a student might be stuck on or simply for more information pertaining to a certain subject, generally during their office hours.

“Come to office hours,” urged political science professor Heath Fogg Davis.

The significance of office hours can sometimes be overlooked, especially in terms of the number of students actually inquiring about more information outside the classroom. It’s the first step in not only making an impression with a particular professor, but a step in the right direction on the students’ part to broaden their own academic horizons.

The indispensable information that a student can gain from a professor and his or her expertise can translate into the real world and a student’s future career.

Professors are tantamount to a boss: They are not only there to decide whether or not you pass or fail. If used accordingly, they can serve as a vehicle to venues that one might have not thought of, with insightfulness and credible sources of information in their respective fields.

Next time you’re free with nothing to do, try to stop by a professor’s office hours. It just might change your life.

Allen Habtamu can be reached at allen.h@temple.edu. 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.