By now we are getting to That Point in the semester… You know the one, where you curse your professor’s existence as you set up permanent camp in the library to study for a final that is worth half your grade. You may even be so desperate as to believe that an elaborate fruit basket, delivered at the right time, with the right sort of convincing smile, might help your professor overlook any errors in your performance.

Well, as any true disciple of “A Christmas Story” would know, the fruit basket is not the way to an A + + +. However, there are many personal and professional benefits of maintaining a good relationship with a professor long after the final grade has been handed down.

Take it from Evan, a consultant in our St. Louis office, who recently found a way to bridge his career in consulting and his academic past:

During college, most of us experience love-hate relationships with our professors. We love them during lectures and discussions; we hate them after midterms and finals. We think that once we take the final exam, we are finished with the professor, and we will never again have to cross paths. However, maintaining contact with professors can be rewarding. As a recent graduate or current college student, you are in a perfect position to create and maintain relationships with your professors.

I developed and maintained a good relationship with a junior-level Accounting professor. He teaches a class on internal controls, a topic in line with Protiviti’s solutions. Shortly after I started my career at Protiviti, I sent the professor an email explaining how I was utilizing the skills he taught me at my new job. After my initial email, he invited me to speak in his classes. By sharing specific client examples, we were able to link concepts taught in his classes to the real world at Protiviti. This not only allowed his students to realize the importance of the class’s concepts, but it also made the students more aware of Protiviti. It’s always great to visit campus, meet current students, and tell them about exciting opportunities!

If you have not done so already, I encourage you to make the most of your relationships with your professors. Reach out to them and make them feel they have had an impact on your life and your professional ambitions!

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