As often as your parents relentlessly remind you that “you’re at college to get an education and not to party,” you will inevitably learn a thing or two outside of the classroom that may very well become more valuable than anything found in a textbook. With that being said, I am not advocating to disregard your academic studies as they are severely important in becoming a more well-rounded individual. While on the topic…
Get to know your professors on a more personal level.
Doing so is merely as important as your academic performance in the classroom; students often fail to realize this. As you approach graduation and begin organizing and preparing for post-college endeavors, you’ll want to reach out to the professors in which you established healthy professional and personal relationships with for not only useful advise they may offer, but as a contact and a resource. In this day and age, networking is imperative. It’s necessary. Advancing professionally can be deemed impossible without it.
Yes, many reach out to family members or relatives in search of a job or internship, as they should. But do so as well to professors as diligently. You have spent the last four years making impressions and marketing yourself in the classroom, why not capitalize? Remember, these people are real-world working professionals. They know the ropes and the ins-and-outs. Pick their brains — acknowledge any contacts they may possess in the field you are pursuing. Not only will this help you immensely, but this will further their positive view of you and force recognition of your maturity.
Bottom line, it can’t hurt. Help yourself help yourself.
Even if you don’t feel it necessary to approach past professors for networking reasons, at least do so to rekindle a relationship. Employers request references and when you’re a graduating college student, you may not have extensive experience in the field. But with a reference from a professor that would tell an employer ‘you were a remarkable student with a strong work ethic and positive attitude that would offer grandiose contributions to a company,’ you will be pleased you kept in touch.