Here are some tips on how to best communicate during your college years.
Emailing - Always be professional! ALWAYS!
In an age of texting and tweeting we understand the need to use shorthand and that most of you use it every day. #LOLOMGROFL That being said, now that you are a UA student, email is going to be your primary way of communicating with UA faculty, academic advisors, and other campus professionals. So, what do need you to remember about emails?
Emails aren't texts! It is important that the first impression you make doesn't look like this:
Hey professor Ramirez when are you free?
- sent from Iphone
In order to start a good professional relationship with your advisors, professors or any campus professional that will be in your life you would want it to looks like this:
Dear Professor Ramirez,
Are you still holding office hours on Thursday as mentioned in your course syllabus? I would like to stop by to ask about the report that is due soon. Thank you!
At the end of the day your professors, advisors, etc. want to have a quality and productive relationship with you. While you can be friendly with them, you should always strive to maintain a professionalism relationship. Your polite and professional manner will go a long way in getting you the help or networking that you are looking for!
Remember, at some point you will want a letter of recommendation. The person asking WILL ask about your communication skills and abilities. You will not want a recommendation from someone you sent that first email example to.
In addition to the email example above, keep in mind these email etiquette tips.
Check your email! Everyday! This is how all campus professionals will communicate with you and you don't want to miss timely information about a course, scholarships, internship or job opportunities.
Always use a header and an email signature. For example, Dear and Sincerely work every time.
Your subject line should always be filled in and it should be short and understandable. Don't email the professor with the subject line "help". It should look like: Sociology 101 class, section A, homework question. Or, to an advisor: Question about courses for the next semester.
Always allow AT LEAST 48 hours for a person to respond before re-sending another email or emailing someone else. Most people on campus deal with hundreds of students so patience is key.
Be sure to state who you are (include your Student Identification number), even if you just met with the person who are emailing. (If it is your advisor, chances are we have seen 10-15 students since seeing you!)
READ EVERY EMAIL SENT TO YOU BY CAMPUS PROFESSIONALS! If we send you an email it is so we can let you know things that are important or that we think will be of some interest to you. Advisors don't work off commission or spam - if we are sending it to you it is because we think you need it.
Before emailing, ask yourself, "Have I tried finding the answer myself?" While your advisor is happy to help it is harder to help everyone if we are receiving emails like "How do I contact the biology department."
Create folders in your email account so you can keep track of read and unread emails. It will make the email journey much more enjoyable!
I Emailed My Professor, Advisor, etc. at 5:01PM on Friday - Now What?
For most professionals on campus, the work week is Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm. If you choose to send an email outside of regular business hours please understand you will not hear back until the next set of business hours occur. We love our jobs and we love our students, but we also love our time off (this is public health and we strive for work / life balance!).