Feb

19

How to Build a Relationship with your Professor

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Woo your teacher with a succulent fruit
Woo your teacher with a succulent fruit

Woo your teacher with a succulent fruit

The summer internship application season is upon us.  This only means one thing— recommendations are needed. Worried your professors don’t like you enough, or know the real you? Bwog gives our list of the best ways to be noticed (or even liked) by your professor of choice.  

Highly Effective

  • Laugh at all of their jokes
  • Make it obvious that you’ve done the reading
  • Flatter them
  • Email them with questions (but not stupid questions)
  • Ask for help (at office hours, via email, whenever you have a good excuse to talk to them, do it)
  • Tell them about the cool things you’ve been able to do or understand thanks to their class
  • Help (the humanities profs) with their technology issues
  • Come to them with related questions of interest—if you’re thinking of doing a summer internship in their field, ask for advice!
  • Always thank them for their help
  • Tell them how cute their children are (only if the children are of appropriate age for this)
  • Nominate them for Actual Wisdom
  • Feign interest in their personal anecdotes

Possibly Effective

  • Offer to clean their house for free
  • Come to class a little late so they see you come in—they’ll remember you better that way.
  • Don’t suck up like Blair Waldorf
  • Offer them free tickets to your campus show
  • Compliment their wardrobe choices
  • Give them restaurant recommendations
  • “The barista messed up”—pretend you’ve received a free second coffee and leave it on their podium
  • Make them a personalized book cover for their textbook

Worth a Shot?

  • Make a cheesecake in the shape of their face
  • Invite yourself to their birthday party
  • Throw them a birthday party
  • Go to all office hours and sit silently in their office staring at them the entire time (they’ll remember you)
  • Ask them to The Heights for a marg
  • Pass them a love note in class
  • Name a milkshake after them and bring it in for sampling
  • Have your a cappella group serenade them during exam review week

Apple via Shutterstock

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23 Comments

  1. Peaches  

    Don't be asleep every time you go to your poorly attended lecture.

  2. Nick

    this is kind of a stupid article. Most profs see through the acting by the way.

  3. WOAH WAIT A MIN

    im a GUY and i do all these things................. on a DATE:

    Laugh at all of their jokes
    Make it obvious that you’ve done the reading
    Flatter them
    Email them with questions (but not stupid questions)
    Ask for help (at office hours, via email, whenever you have a good excuse to talk to them, do it)
    Tell them about the cool things you’ve been able to do or understand thanks to their class
    Help (the humanities profs) with their technology issues
    Come to them with related questions of interest—if you’re thinking of doing a summer internship in their field, ask for advice!
    Always thank them for their help
    Tell them how cute their children are (only if the children are of appropriate age for this)
    Nominate them for Actual Wisdom
    Feign interest in their personal anecdotes




    arent these all dating things you mentioned?! wouldnt it come off as flirting if i did it to a female prof?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, but the faculty is mostly male. What do you think happens when women do the above, if they don't feel uncomfortable about it already?

    • who da fuq are u dating  

      On a date you let her know you've done your reading, help her with her technology , tell her all the cool things you can do thanks to being on a date with her, e-mail her with questions, and tell her that you nominated her for Actual Wisdom?

      You only feign interest in her stories?

      • WOAH WAIT A MIN

        not exactly word-for-word, bud. but the general actions are the same, if you think about it.

        and actually, i did nominate her for, not Actual Wisdom, but Senior Wisdom last year.

        i don't feign interest in her stories, but you gotta admit, being on a first date with someone BEFORE you have fallen in love with them means that not ALL of her stories will interest me. and being the guy, i usually let the girl talk the entire time and you know how girls love rambling on and on about themselves ;) So yes, on some of her stories, I do have to feign interest.

        Also, wanted to mention a couple more bullet points the author mentioned:

        -Offer to clean their house for free
        -Come to class a little late so they see you come in—they’ll remember you better that way.

        hahaha i did that too...not clean her house, but i offered to help another girl I liked move stuff into her dorm last year and often i showed up late to class so she'd notice me or so i can let her pick a seat first so i can sit next to her

  4. CC'14  

    How about being genuinely interested in their class and doing your work well?

  5. What if  

    I film them stripping and send it to Bwog?

  6. Anonymous  

    “The barista messed up”—pretend you’ve received a free second coffee and leave it on their podium


    lolol

  7. 35yrold gs idiot

    hey prof., your 19 yr old daughter is cuteee!

  8. JKW

    Bring your professors food. Especially cake. Especially if it's an evening class.

  9. Well  

    You're basically pitching to a university whose students have mastered relationship building with teachers/mentors etc. since 7th grade ... those common app recs didn't write themselves!

  10. Old Dude

    I thought this post might be useful. It's just warmed over snark though.

    There are two kinds of faculty members. Those who are interested in having a relationship with their students, and those who are not. (Get your head out of the gutter.) You don't necessarily get to pick which is which. If you want to be BFFs with a rock-star prof, good luck, the odds are against you. Sure, some golden boy/girl student will become the rock-stars protege, but odds are that won't be you. But if you're just looking for a mentor, there are plenty of people out there if you just look.

    How do you find out who cares? Go to office hours. If your professor treats it like clinical open hours (ok, what's your problem/question; have I solved it/answered it ? good. NEXT) then move on. But if you talk to enough professors, you'll find some who make the effort to actually connect with you, are genuinely concerned about you, and whom you can really engage with about class subjects too in the kinds of all-over-the-place free-for-all conversations you imagined you'd be having in college. Those kinds of professors are there, trust me. It took me years to find them, but I did.

    So yeah. Don't waste your time sucking up. Don't waste your time trying to connect with a professor because you think they're important. Talk to the people who interest you, whether its the nobel laureate, or just an assistant associate adjunct lecturer. They can all tell the difference when you're just trying to say something for the sake of saying something, and when you're genuinely moved/interested.

    It can be tough to go to office hours if you don't have any questions, or can only come up with contrived questions. Go anyway. Tell the professor you really enjoy their class. If you don't have any questions, ask the professor what questions you should be asking yourself during the course. Ask the professor for course recommendations if you really like the subject matter, etc. Think of them as a resource rather than the target of a networking attempt.

    You're young, the world is full of opportunities, and you think you know everything. Or at least I felt that way when I was in your shoes. You don't know everything, and neither do the faculty. But they've seen a hell of a lot more than (most) of you. So talk to them. Get life guidance. Forge meaningful relationships that will last beyond graduation. Do that, and you'll have made more of college than a lot of your peers.

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