At my undergraduate, the only time I went to office hours was either to dispute a grade or to request, obtain, or follow up on a recommendation. I never just went in to talk to the professor or gain insight on an upcoming assignment. Well let me tell you: My professors at the School of Public Health are marvelous.
- They respond to emails
- They are actually helpful
- They know their area of expertise and everyone in it
#1 is extremely helpful when you can not make it to their predetermined office hours and need to make an appointment. It is also nice to know that you have an open line of communication, which could make a difference between a good grade and an excellent grade.
#2 is my favorite. Have you ever talked to someone for an hour, walked away and asked yourself, “How was that suppose to help me?” I have, and way more times than I would like to count. If you have a question about anything, the professors can either answer it with clarity or direct you to the person who can.
#3 catapults this program above the masses. Professors who know what they are talking about are great resources of information. When it comes to finding internships and job, professors who practice in the field, and have relationships with others who practice, are the most helpful. Searching for internships and jobs brings much anxiety and stress, but that can be mitigated by talking to your advisor. By practicing in the field, they know what opportunities exist that relate to your interest, who to call, and how to communicate with the people at the top. All three of the before-mentioned items are major areas that students find difficult.
In summary, go to office hours. The earlier you go, the less damage you will cause yourself by trying to “go it alone.”