When thinking about maintaining relationships, the first thought that usually comes to mind is keeping in contact with friends and family. What we use to develop and foster personal relationships looks a little different when maintaining educational or professional relationships. There might be a co-worker or teacher you have become close to, but that might not always be the case with educational relationships. Maintaining this type of relationship can be complicated simply because of professional courtesy.
Educational and Professional Relationships
Relationships with professors, mentors, and school representatives can be just as meaningful as personal relationships. These relationships provide motivation and guidance. Joining student organizations and your school’s alumni association are good ways to build these relationships.
Professional and educational relationships can result in mentors, which encourage development. Mentors provide a different point of view, and because the primary relationship is professional the opinion is generally more objective and less clouded by familial feelings. Also, mentors have taken the journey we are just beginning. They provide another point of view and can help guide you not only in your education, but professionally as well.
Build your Network
Lastly, these relationships help you build your network. Having a strong network is important not only because having multiple points of view and experiences make you well rounded, but because your network can be leveraged in many different ways. Your network can connect you to others in similar programs. Also, if you decide to begin a graduate or post graduate program, some require you to select a board of advisors to mentor you for your thesis or similar projects. Having a well maintained relationship or network eliminates the stress of finding one.
Here are 5 Ways to Initiate and Foster Educational Relationships:
Introduce yourself to professors.
Participate in class.
Join student organizations.
Take advantage of office hours.
Ask for a letter of recommendation once your course ends.