Do I even need to talk to the Professors?
You might be wondering if you can just go to lectures, take notes, and go home without ever confronting with the professors themselves. It’s true that you can just avoid talking with your professor, but if you want to thoroughly understand the class material, get some unexpected opportunities, and make the most of the college experience, then there’s no way around it: you need to talk with your professor!
What topics can I talk with my Professor about?
You can reach out to your Professor whenever you feel like you may be struggling with the class. Although it’s good to ask questions in-class, you need to be mindful of how many questions you’ve already asked. During the limited time of a lecture, your Professor needs to cover every topic scheduled, and a lot of your fellow classmates have questions too. Therefore, it is best to save some questions to ask your professor in person. This way, you’ll get a more detailed explanation, and the Professor will get to know you better too.
Pro tip: It is awesome to ask your Professor questions relating to the material, but when it comes to homework, it is better to ask your TAs (Teacher Assistants) as they will be the ones who grade it.
Not only can you talk with the Professors you have lectures with, but you can also talk to Stevens Research Faculty to get a chance to do a cool summer research too! It can be difficult to get research opportunities your freshman year, but getting to know professors early on can help you start building avenues for research opportunities. Therefore, asking them early and getting to know what’s involved in the project is a great way to get ahead.
You can also ask your professor when you get your quizzes back and have some trouble understanding some questions. Don’t be shy even if you didn’t get a good grade. The professor will be glad to help you.
When can I talk to my Professor?
You can talk to your Professor right after class but usually there will be another class then, so they would only have time to answer some quick questions. The best time to talk to your Professor is during their office hours. Even if you can’t make it to office hours (because of another class, sports practice, …), don’t worry! You can still email the professor and schedule another time with them.
Your professor may have a lot of connections so if they can see your efforts and determination, you might even get an unexpected internship/research opportunity. Have fun talking with your professors, and have fun making the most of your college experience!
Written by sophomore, Computer Science major, Hein Bui.