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Did you know that taking the time to develop a positive relationship with your lecturers can not only benefit your uni experience, but your future career prospects as well? And it’s not hard to get in your lecturers’ good books! From making the most of extra-curricular opportunities, to sending a polite and proofread email, we show you five simple ways you can get off on the right foot with your USQ lecturers.
But don’t stop there! Uni is a great place to develop your professional network of contacts. Check out USQ Alumni Nick’s advice for making connections and improving your career prospects while at uni.
How to get in
5 steps to help you build a positive
relationship with your lecturers.
At uni, your lecturers take a pretty casual approach to
classes. You’re treated as an adult with opinions, ambitions
and viewpoints to share and you’re free to come and go as
But rather than taking advantage of the more relaxed
environment at university, why not do what you can to build
a relationship with your lecturers?
Getting in your lecturers’ good books isn’t about being a
teacher’s pet or trying to befriend them in the hopes of
getting a better grade.
Taking the time to develop a strong and respectful relationship
with your lecturers is about making the most of your university
experience and thinking ahead to professional connections
that could be of use in your career.
Any new relationship can be a little awkward at first, so here
are 5 things you can do to get off on the right foot with your
university lecturers and tutors.
To get on your lecturer’s good side you’ll first need to get on
their radar by showing up to class. If you study on-campus,
make the effort to be punctual to your classes, make eye
contact with your lecturer and always say hello and goodbye.
If you’re late to class or need to leave early, explain this to your
lecturer and try not to disturb the class as you’re moving in
or out. It’s also a good idea to keep unnecessary classroom
chatter to a minimum.
If you’re an online student, don’t assume your study habits
will go unnoticed. Your lecturers and tutors can access
USQStudyDesk logs that tell them when you last signed in and
accessed the course materials.
Keep up to date with the weekly study schedule and make
the effort to leave comments or questions on the course
forum to build rapport with your lecturer and show that
you’re actively engaged with the course.
‘Be respectful and show courtesy when
the lecturer is speaking and they’ll
show the same to you. It’s also good
to maintain honest communication
with your lecturers. Be open about any
struggles you might have with the class
and seek help when needed.’
BACHELOR OF ARTS
There’s nothing more awkward than when a lecturer asks a
question (either in class or on a forum) and not a single person
University classes work best when you participate in the
learning process by asking questions, sharing your point of
view and engaging with your lecturers and peers.
What we’re trying to say is, if you want to make a good
impression on your lecturer, don’t be that person who always
makes a beeline for the back row and sits in silence for the
Keep up-to-date with the course material and readings and
come to class prepared to share your thoughts and questions
when the opportunity arises. Not only will this show that
you’re genuinely interested and engaged in what you’re
learning, it also tells your lecturer that you’re listening and
respect what they have to say.
‘Teaching and learning at university works best as an
interactive process. It’s good for lecturers to find out where
students need most support in their learning journey and what
interests them about what they’re studying, and for students
to appreciate their lecturer’s views, knowledge and skills. Your
lecturer will appreciate the effort you make to let them know
what you are hoping to learn from the course, and asking
for help and guidance if needed (well before the assessment
Your lecturers have a wealth of knowledge and experience
that can benefit you in your learning and career journey.
Their office hours are a great opportunity to get one-on-one
feedback and support, as well as being a chance to get to
know your lecturer on a more personal level.
If your lecturer’s office hours don’t align with your schedule,
explain the circumstances and ask politely if there is another
time you could meet. Most lecturers will be happy to
negotiate a different time.
To get the most out of your visit, make sure you have a
clear reason for being there (this shows that you respect
their time), such as to ask for more detailed feedback on an
assignment, to enquire about career opportunities or to ask
for support with a particular topic or concept in the course.
Try to avoid dropping in without a clear purpose and don’t
use office hours to harass your lecturer for your assignment
or exam results. It’s also a nice idea to follow up your meeting
with an email and thank your lecturer for their time.
‘I believe it’s a sign of intelligence to ask a question when
you don’t understand something. So don’t be shy and
introduce yourself either in person or via email. If you are
polite and friendly, show interest and motivation, you will get
along with me.’
While uni is a fairly relaxed learning environment,
that doesn’t mean you should get lazy with your
Lecturers appreciate good manners, such as a friendly ‘good
morning’ if you see them around campus or a genuine ‘thank
you’ when they’ve helped you out by answering a question.
It’s also a good idea to be polite and professional in
your emails and forum postings. Make sure you’ve provided
enough context for your question or comment to make sense
and take the time to proofread your message. Don’t forget to
include a salutation and a sign off (including your full name)
No matter how well you get to know your lecturer, treat
every interaction (verbal or written) as a practice run for the
professional world. Good manners go a long way!
‘Email etiquette is so important and it takes practise.
Your years as a student give you the opportunity to develop
good email habits that will not only show you are professional
and competent, but may win you what you seek later on in
Take your time when wording an email, use clear punctuation
and don’t include slang. Also, make sure you send your
request well in advance of any deadlines so that you give the
recipient plenty of time to respond.’
SENIOR LECTURER (PUBLIC RELATIONS)
Throughout your studies, your lecturers might make you aware
of activities, events or extracurricular projects that you can
be involved in. Before you dismiss these opportunities, have a
think about the benefits of participating.
Not only does extracurricular participation show your lecturer
that you’re a dedicated student, it also gives you the chance to
make industry connections, build your résumé and enhance
your understanding of the course content.
There’s nothing nerdy about going the extra mile to get the
most out of your university experience. You never know who
you might meet or what recommendations you may receive as
a result. And if you can impress your lecturer in the process,
that’s a bonus!
‘Personally, as a film student I found the best way to get
along with my lecturers was to show a lot of interest in the
course material and volunteer for extracurricular activities
that they offered. It was a great way to work personally
with the lecturer outside the university environment and in a
professional one. It was also incredibly useful for gaining more
hands-on experience in my studies.’
BACHELOR OF CREATIVE ARTS
You don’t need to be best friends with your lecturers and
tutors, but making the effort to develop a positive relationship
with them can benefit both your studies and your career.
These 5 tips are a great starting point to help you get
off on the right foot with your lecturers and step into their
CRICOS: QLD00244B NSW02225M TEQSA: PRV12081 14.1.H 02.2017
Your lecturers, tutors and university peers
are just the beginning of your professional
relationships. University offers you the
chance to make many connections that
could benefit you in the future.
Check out USQ alumni Nick’s advice
on building a strong network and
improving your career prospects
while at uni.