Academics

Connecting with McIntire Professors Inside and Outside of the Virtual Classroom

T.J., a McIntire fourth-year, finds the professors at McIntire approachable regardless of the format of the class.

McIntire professors serve as a valuable resource for questions on class content, recruiting, business careers, and much more. Inside Rouss & Robertson Halls, it is easy to have a conversation with professors after class or during their office hours. So how did this change with the shift to online classes at the end of last semester?

Despite the complete and sudden change in class structure, I was very impressed with the flexibility and adaptability of McIntire and its professors. Classes still had many opportunities for participation, giving students a clear path to engage with their professors. Likewise, office hours easily translated to online, private video calls. Most of my professors used the same times for their office hours that they had before the switch to online teaching. While you can’t tell if there are other students ahead of you in the virtual waiting room, I was always able to meet with my professors within a few minutes of the time I joined the virtual session. From there, asking questions and engaging in thoughtful discussion operated the same as it would in person, just over a screen instead of over a desk.

If the above options are not working for you, McIntire professors are very willing to make time that fits your schedule. Do not be afraid to ask a professor to talk one-on-one. I have heard of classmates having discussions that cover a variety of topics outside of class work, including mock interviews, career exploration, team dynamics, or even just fun life experiences. In a virtual world, I found it even easier to schedule time for these discussions. By cutting out walking to class, eating a sit-down lunch, or searching for a place to study, there were extra minutes in my day that I could spend on activities such as this. If you are courteous and flexible, I have never heard of a professor being unable to accommodate a student.

I was encouraged by the ability to consistently engage with my professors despite classes being online during the end of last semester. If you are unable to have a class in person, view the situation as an opportunity to connect in a new way. Professors still want to meet their students and help them on their Commerce journey, and they have proven to be flexible to make sure that this happens virtually. While it may not be how you imagined your first impression, an online class can be the foundation for an even stronger bond when you do get the opportunity to meet face to face.

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