How to Keep those Connections: Professors

By Zennie L. Wey

Now that you have reached the end of the semester, it’s time for a well-deserved break. Just kidding — it’s actually a great time to think about your future. As the semester draws to a close, you can start planning for how to maintain connections with your professors. A professor that you click with can be a great future advisor, mentor, or recommender, and on their end, it’s always nice to know that a student appreciated their course. Here are a few ways to forge that meaningful connection.

Email Your Professor a Thank You

At the end of the semester, it’s important to make yourself stand out and create an impression — just being an attentive listener in class will not suffice. Email your professor to tell them how much you enjoyed the class, and be sure to make the email specific and individualized (in other words, this is not the time to create a reusable email template). Even if you don’t get a response, they, or at least the person who schedules their meetings, has seen your name now.

Go to Office Hours (The Last Ones at Least)

Most professors’ office hours are sparsely attended throughout the semester, emptying out dramatically when there are no assignments left. Attend one of their last office hours to let them know how their class educated you and changed how you thought about the world. A little flattery never hurt anyone.

Stop By Their Office Next Year

While this isn’t one you can accomplish right now with your current professors, it is something you can do with past professors. Stop by, or schedule an appointment if that’s how they roll, to update them on your endeavors and tell them how much you miss their class.

Doing any (or all) of these things can set you up for a successful relationship with your professor in the future. When trying to find a letter of recommendation, a thesis advisor, or just a reference for your resume, these connections will be immensely helpful. Going that little extra distance can dramatically impact how people view you and the connections you forge.

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