Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dining out with your professors?

“If you could eat dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?”
The stakes of your answer are completely arbitrary, right? It's just a question meant to get to know someone better; it doesn’t matter who you select. The stakes are low.

But in the real world, those stakes are very high.

Because those who you can actually call upon, who can actually help build you towards a goal, do actually have a tremendous impact on the direction of your life.

So let’s play the game for real...the professor version.

If you could invite one professor to dinner, past or present, who would it be?

Follow-up question: Would he or she accept the invitation?

Part of what stands in the way of success for those of us who don’t come from backgrounds with preexisting networks of professionals and wealth is that it can be easy for us to defer.

To defer to a drive-thru education.

One where we come out on the other side with our immediate hunger satiated, at the expense of long-term help. 

The long-term nutritious help comes from the networking connections you make. The key is, you have to make an effort to create them. 

And professors are the best people to start with.

More often than not, they are more willing to help you than you realize.

So here's the challenge:

Meet with two of your professors at your college this week – from your current or previous semester. Find out their office hours or send them an email to schedule a time.

And when you do meet, ask them this question:

“What blanks in my experience do I need to fill in order to succeed in [insert your current major/career goal here]?”

Be a sponge. Listen. Take notes. Follow-up with anyone and anything that they suggest, at least on the exploratory level.

And start to book those dinner guests.

Metaphorically of course. Let’s not really invite them over to your place - that invitation could awkward... ;)

But move forward and build those connections. You'll be amazed at where they lead. And feel free to let me know your meetings go; I am glad to help with any feedback you're given - isa@communitycollegesuccess.com.

To read more about Isa's personal story how you can build relationships to: make positive friends, be more successful in academics and work, find the right people to connect with, and access the hidden job market, grab a FREE e-copy of the first chapter of Community College Success: How to Finish with Friends, Scholarships, Internships, and the Career of Your Dreams! Claim your free copy on the Facebook page!

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