Investing time in office hours can allow you to create a great relationship with your Professor or GSI. If you are interested in the subject they are teaching or in the work they have done, having a good relationship with them may allow the following:
  • They may link you to articles, experience, or people that are related to your interests.
  • If you are interested in what your Professor or GSI do, they  may offer you a position as a research assistant in their lab (this is how I obtained my clinical research position!).
  • May allow you to learn more about the field and what career options are available within the Major.
  • This opportunity may help you understand what a day in a life of a Professor or GSI looks like.
  • After years of a good relationship they may be willing to write you a positive letter of recommendation.
What to talk about during office hours
Many people use office hours to talk to the Professor or GSI when they have receive their exam grades back or when they do not understand a concept presented in class. Although these are good reasons, the following suggestions may also be important:
  • Talking about research the professor or GSI is currently doing or current research related to the course. If you are thinking about graduate school it can be a great opportunity to obtain a better understanding of the research that is currently taking place especially if it is within your field of interest!
  • Talk about Graduate School, Medicine School, Law School, and other opportunities you are considering to expand on your degree and obtain the career position you wish to obtain.
  • Ask them about their experiences within their field of study and career.
  • Express your interesting in a topic mentioned in class and ask questions that go beyond what was covered in the book or lecture.
Hopefully this has provide you with some ideas to make good use of office hours. If you have had a bad experiences from office hours in the past, I encourage you to try a new Professor or GSI, your experience may be better this time! Professors may seem intimidating but they are passionate about their students and what they teach.

 

Renata , L&S Peer Adviser