Connecting with Professors
Establishing relationships with professors can help students in several ways. To connect with a professor, be an active participant in class, show up to office hours, and ask insightful questions about course material or the professor’s research. Professors can provide academic and career advising, discuss getting research experience, signing up for practicum, and can write letters of recommendation.
In addition to peer advising, students can also attend a professor’s office hours for advice about career paths. For more information about the psychology department’s faculty, click here.
You can also seek out opportunities to get involved in a research lab as a research assistant. Research assistance typically help with reviewing scientific literature, data entry, putting together poster presentations for conferences, and a variety of other tasks. Becoming a research assistant is one way to further your relationship with a professor. Extra curricular activities, such as engaging in research laboratories, make your graduate school application stand out.
Letters of Recommendation
Graduate schools require letters of recommendation, and prospective employers may even ask for them. The quality of letters of recommendation can vary widely, so it’s important to learn what differentiates a strong letter from a mediocre letter. It’s wise to build a relationship with a faculty advisor whose interests are similar to your own. There is no guarantee when it comes to letters of recommendation; they must be earned. Here are some links to information about our faculty and advice on how to get strong letters of recommendation. But also remember to talk to academic advisers and professors about what it takes to earn a letter of recommendation.
It’s also important to make connections in the community and with fellow students. Read the following articles to find out why: