Tips on successful communication with professors  


On Nov. 7, the University of Connecticut’s Academic Achievement Center hosted a workshop teaching students how to engage in successful communication with their professors. The workshop was structured as an interactive presentation and was open for undergraduate students from all schools.  

The workshop was led by two seventh-semester students – Bri Mastroianni, an allied health sciences major with a Spanish minor and Rona-Lyssa Tulien, a sociology major with minors in both music and crime and justice.  

Student attendees were given tips on how to properly structure and formulate emails in diverse situations that may arise in college: a necessity for an extension, a need for additional review and help with course material, an interest in a research or internship opportunity, a recommendation letter for a higher degree or a job, etc. Common mistakes and misconceptions to avoid were also presented through demonstrations of incorrectly, unprofessionally written emails.   

The presentation included a simple, yet effective step-by-step guide to crafting the perfect professional email that would be positively perceived by professors and yield best results in terms of achieving the goal of the email. 

The first step is to think of what exactly your goal is and why you want to reach out to your professor. Next, decide when and how you will ask for help – whether you need to schedule a meeting to discuss an assignment or send the professor specific materials such as your resume if asking for a recommendation letter. Draft the email and then edit to make sure it is clear and concise, yet professional and formal. Lastly, go for it – reread, review and send! 

An important follow-up of contacting a professor that students often forget is to maintain the relationship. It is important to stay in touch and continue demonstrating academic interest and participation. 

“You also want to establish your name and make yourself known to your professors,” Mastroianni said. 

Be active in class, speak to your professors before and after as well, especially if you have scheduled a meeting with them that day. 

By establishing personal connections and relationships with your professors, your chances of getting a research opportunity or an internship increase. 

“Make sure to interact with your professors,” Tulien said. “Your name may be brought up in their department as a candidate for a specific job, internship or other opportunity.” 

It is highly recommended to stay in touch with every professor after emailing them about a specific concern, even after it has been resolved. A key component of successful communication is maintaining it throughout your entire academic career. Establishing connections and making yourself memorable to professors is imperative to success and growth as a student and as a professional in the future.  

Throughout the workshop, students had the opportunity to participate in interactive tasks involving the above information, which made for an informative, helpful and effective experience. 

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