Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I Know You Don't Know Me, But . . .

A student attending this evening's workshop wanted to know how to interact with professors, particularly when you need references.  As a college freshman, you may find you need a reference or recommendation letter from a faculty member.  Before you ask for a reference, ask yourself  "What will this person have to say about me?"  You may not know it, but you are on an interview every day . . . in class . . . in practices . . . walking across campus.  Instructors and administrators notice you when don't know they're looking.  You want someone on your campus to be able to speak well of you . . . several someones, in fact.

You don't just want a reference, you want a good, strong reference.  This means the instructor must know who you are.  Make yourself stand out in a good way.  Be the student who asks questions and puts in more effort.  If you're not talkative, you're just not and instructors understand that.  However, you can stand out in other ways.  Be the person who works well in groups and positively adds to the overall atmosphere of the class.  Don't fade into the background.  If your instructor doesn't know your name, how can they provide a good reference?