If you’re a pre med student, that means you’re at least moderately intelligent and have probably been successful throughout your educational career. That also means you’ve probably learned the art of sucking up (or kissing ass, or brown nosing, or whatever you want to call it). Now, I hate sucking up. I avoid doing it for many reasons, mostly because I can’t stand it when I see other people do it.
In college, you’ve got to be careful sucking up. My advice would be to avoid it altogether. You see, the point of sucking up in high school is to make the teacher like you in the hopes that this will translate into better grades. In college, especially college science courses, the grading is much more objective than in high school. That means that even if a professor loves you, it’s not going to help you if you don’t know the difference between an anion and a cation.
So what’s the point of rubbing shoulders with some professors? For a pre med student, it can be invaluable. Here are just a few of the benefits:
1. Opportunities for research. Most science college professors are working on some research project. Getting to know them, and showing interest in their field is a great way to get your foot in the door helping out with a research project.
2. Advice. Professors are often very interesting people. Some of my best conversations in college were with professors. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn from someone who may have something to teach you beyond the course material.
3. Letters of recommendation. Guess what? You need them to get into medical school. At least one letter full of praise from a professor that knows you very well is almost a necessity for your med school application.
4. Help with course material. Who better to ask questions about your class than your professor? Even if you are bored by their teaching style in lecture, you may find talking with them one on one a great way to better understand what you’re learning. Asking for help is also a great way to start a relationship with a professor.
Don’t wait! Strike up a conversation with one of your professors as soon as possible. For many students, classes start up soon. There’s no better time to start to get to know a professor than at the beginning of the term. Make yourself known!
Any other benefits to getting to know professors that you other pre meds can think of?