By: Rose Mannas
Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, USF
Forget what you know about teachers from what you experienced in high school. In fact, forget that you even called them ‘teachers’ because now you only call them ‘professors’. These men and women are powerful forces of nature that are hardly held down by policy, political correctness, or even lesson plans.
I have had some of the wildest professors. They have stopped class to be taught how to do the Hotline Bling by Drake, to Snapchat (see photo attached), and even hold hands and sing a song in a language nobody spoke just because it was ‘stuck in his head’. They cuss, they make politically charged statements, they throw people out of class, and they don’t care what you think of them. College professors are their own breed of people and they are the people on campus you love and hate the most.
If there is one thing you need to consider most important, it is this: Make sure your professor knows who you are, knows you are serious, and continues to know who you are after you finish their class. Networking is one thing you just cannot learn the importance of until it is seemingly too late. These men and women often own terminal degrees in their field and genuinely care about the subject they are teaching. If they genuinely care about you as well, do you know what sort of influence their letter of recommendation can have? Think about getting a job recommendation from the person who wrote the textbook most used in that field of study.
Depending on where you go, college professors can be difficult to work with, but almost all universities require them to hold open ‘office hours’ where you can come by and see them outside of class time. Bypass the TA and go straight to the professor. Use the TA after you have established a solid relationship with the professor, because the TA is for school help while the professor can be for job and life help. Even if you feel confident in the subject, I highly recommend just swinging by there sometime towards the beginning of the semester. Make sure they know who you are, what section you are in, and what you hope to do after graduation. If you stay in touch, they might want you on board for a research opportunity. Talk about resume builder.