We have all had a class or two that we’re excited to get to. A professor that we’re motivated to impress. Material that we not only learn, but retain for days, months and years. But what about the not-so-great classes? Well, that’s when it’s time to take back our education.
1) Look Further
In graduate school especially, our professors facilitate our personal learning rather than shove information down our throat. I’ve learned to continue learning even after lectures are over. I read more about interesting case studies, I follow up with professors about their comments, I bring up the topic to people in my networks and I seek out opposing views and opinions. Deeper learning makes the material easier to retain.
2) Take Advantage of Guests
I’m lucky that my professors have such outstanding connections that they can bring in some awesome guest speakers (uh, Harold Burson anyone?) We asked about his experience with Tylenol, his ideas of public relations ethics and learned about the next big things in public relations. Take advantage of the speakers you have and connect with them after class. You never know where it will lead or what you will learn.
3) Ask for What you Want
This is one of the more difficult ones to explain, because it doesn’t always work and it has to be done with the utmost respect and precision. If you don’t think you’re learning what you should be – ask for it. I recently had this experience, and it was nerve-wracking to type up the email. First, make sure it’s not just you. I had spoken to my peers, and many of us felt the same way. Next, don’t be offensive or accusatory. I simply brought up a problem I was having in an internship, and asked if my professor might be able to touch on it in an upcoming lecture. And they did.
A Boston girl via Toronto. University of Toronto, Sheridan College, and Boston University alumna. Passionate about ending domestic violence. Hoping to never go a day without carbs or chocolate.