Category: Student Blog

Title: Tips for Going to a Professors’ Office Hours

Author: Bayley W.
Date Published: December 18, 2019

One of the best things about attending Georgetown is the opportunity to learn from some of the most insightful, passionate, experienced experts various academic fields have to offer. Every Hoya knows this and knows they should take advantage of the chances to speak with them one-on-one. However, going to office hours is easier said than done. Read along to learn how to make the most out of a visit to your professor’s office!

1. Prepare! Organize your thoughts.

You should always go to professor’s office hours prepared with questions or concepts to clarify. It’s useful to list out the things you want to talk about in order, and state them in a question format. Usually, the professor is expecting you to carry the conversation, so you should be prepared to do so. While it is important to get to know your professors on a more personal level, it’s just as important to leave a good impression.

2. Research their background and expertise

Professors have spent a sizable amount of their life conducting research and working in the fields they now teach in, and you can bet they have a lot to say about the subject! Take particular interest in their research—which they are bound to be very passionate about. You are probably taking the class for a reason, what about the specific aspects of this professor’s knowledge stands out to you? Is there a study, a paper, or an organization your professor is affiliated with that you are particularly interested in? This is the best time to get a glimpse into their passions outside of the classroom, take advantage of it.

3. Introduce yourself every time

Office hours is the best time to put your face to your name! Your professor probably has hundreds of students, depending on class size, going to office hours may be your only chance to stand out from the rest. Don’t just walk in and expect them to know who you are, introduce your name, and which class or section you have with them to put things in context. It’ll make for a more productive conversation and a more lasting memory.

4. Be respectful of their time

Always keep in mind that professors are extremely busy and have their office hours set at certain times for a reason. Don’t come in with 20 questions within the last 5 minutes of their scheduled office hours. If you have class during the time they offer or any other major conflict, email them ahead of time and explain your situation. They are always more than willing to accommodate and make sure they are available as a resource for all their students. Just keep in mind that communication is key!

Always, always, always remember to thank them for their time.

In conclusion, you should definitely take advantage of office hours, but be prepared and respectful no matter what. Hoya Saxa!