The Importance of the Faculty – Student Relationship

How to Build a Professional Relationship with Your Professor

Contrary to popular student belief, university faculty are more than just lecturers. The faculty are made up of professionals, intellectuals, researchers, analysts, artists, writers, clinicians and more. These people dedicate their careers to educating the next generation and can be of the greatest resources in your life. Learn more about the benefits of taking the time to cultivate a professional relationship with your instructors.

Good Rapport Can Assist Deeper Learning

Students interested in understanding a subject, theory, or study in greater depth should contact their instructor. Whether after class, via email, or during a related discussion, students that ask questions showcase their effort, and dedication while becoming more familiar with the lesson and fueling their fire to learn. Opportunities lie in the conversations, friendships, and a genuine interests we take in the lives of those around us. This concept is the same for students and faculty members.

Instructors Might See Potential When You Don’t

The faculty often have the option to nominate their students for awards, leadership roles, and academic societies. By building a professional relationship with an instructor, students are likely to be remembered when opportunities arise, garnering invitations to academic clubs, societies and other opportunities. Additionally, faculty may have a network of peers that could be looking for students to volunteer, intern, or apply for a job. What better way to start your career than off the recommendation of someone who helped educate you on the way there?

Get Noticed

Despite having motivation and determination, an instructor that can barely remember your face is less likely to remember you when an opportunity arises. To be memorable, professors need to see more effort than scoring high on exams and turning in assignments alone. Make it a point to share your personality, dedication, and intellect. Do this by attending office hours, asking questions during and after class, seeking advice on assignments, engaging in additional discussion of class topics, and seeking out extra-curricular opportunities. . While being respectful of the faculty’s time, do strive to make a lasting impression on someone who can be in your corner someday.

A Built-In Mentor

By forming a bond with an instructor, students are more likely to access the informative, helpful guidance most faculty are willing to offer. Whether an individual is looking for direction in their academic life or future career, an instructor is an experienced professional and potential mentor that can help.

Create a Professional Bond

Students will see a more accessible side of their faculty when they bond through a professional friendship. Often, the faculty are driven by a desire to help their students beyond the classroom. These kinds of creative and altruistic traits make for interesting conversation, can introduce you to a new interest, and give you an idea of how lives can be varied and successful. You don’t need to get involved in their personal lives to learn more about your professors. Simple questions about their background, career path, or opinions on current trends or events can go a long way.

They Might Help You More Willingly

Faculty want to see motivation, participation, understanding of the subject at hand, and effort when students don’t understand the information. Engaging with the instructors opens the doors to additional support that the faculty otherwise may not realize the student needs or wants. Trying to participate a week before the project is due, or ask questions once you’re failing it too late. Communication is key when it comes to the student-faculty relationship.

Career Questions and Networking

No one knows more about the options a student has post-graduation than a professional in that field, making it important for students to build a professional relationship with their faculty. To get the inside information on what it is like to enter the field, and to gain insight regarding which career path suits may be of interest, one should consult a trusted faculty member. Ask your professor about the employment rate and the projected job growth concerning a potential position to help make a decision.

Students who speak with their faculty about potential career options are more likely to have a plan for after graduation. When instructors know about an open position they might be willing to share that with their students as a potential candidate that they see fit.

Professors Make Great References

One of the most important aspects of student-faculty relationships is that instructors are an excellent resource when it comes to references. When students need a recommendation letter, a professional reference, or an educational reference, a trusted faculty member is an excellent choice.

Why they are Top References

While others might seek references from co-workers and friends, a faculty member from an accredited university is a much more professional source. Whether students are applying to a national honor society, graduate school, or a position in their new career field, utilizing an instructor as a reference is always a move in the right direction.

Florida National University

While choosing a university, students should consider how available faculty make themselves to students. At Florida National University, our flexible schedules and small class sizes make it more feasible for students to communicate with their instructors and create lasting bonds. We take pride in our commitment to helping students succeed, but students must understand that building professional relationships with faculty is one key to success. Are you ready to join us in growing and learning? Apply to FNU today!


Unlock the Skills to Succeed — Download Our Free eBook >>>
Download Now