Professors at Dartmouth
In my last post, I wrote about the main reasons that I chose Dartmouth, and whether or not they held up to expectations (spoiler: they did!). As I was writing about the undergraduate focus at Dartmouth, I realized that there was so much to say about the professor-student relationships that this undergraduate focus cultivates. In this post, I want to share a bit about my experience with professors at Dartmouth!
When I first started taking classes at Dartmouth, I was nervous about talking and getting to know my professors. They seemed incredibly impressive (they are); however, I was surprised how easy it was to build relationships with them. Since the class sizes at Dartmouth are normally quite small (last term I had two classes with 5 and 7 people, respectively!), this means that professors often do the work of building a relationship with you before you have to approach them. Small class sizes give the opportunity to really get to know your professors.
Of course, there are many benefits to building relationships with professors. First, they are usually cool and interesting people due to their research; having the opportunity to talk with professionals about their life's work is lots of fun, and time usually flies when having these conversations! Moreover, these relationships can lead to research projects, internships, and other experiences to aid your personal development. I've taken classes with most of the professors I've done research with, which shows the value of being involved and getting to know your professor in class. I've had opportunities to travel and be a part of team research projects by being curious and inquiring about opportunities to work with professors: they are frequently looking for helpers! Thus, I would urge prospective students to consider the importance of professor relationships, and the opportunities that exist to cultivate these relationships as a small school like Dartmouth.
Dartmouth also offers a helpful 'take a professor to lunch' voucher program if students want the chance to break the ice with a professor about an assistantship, talk about post-college plans, or just talk about interesting things happening in the world! The voucher applies to Pine restaurant in Hanover, which is delicious! Therefore, it's a great opportunity to enjoy a good meal while getting to know your professor better in the process. I have started taking advantage of this program recently, and my experience has been great!
Professors are one of the best resources at college to help students figure out what they want to do after graduation. Since they've been through the college process and oftentimes have worked in a variety of careers, the voice of experience that my professors have provided me has certainly been a critical component of my Dartmouth experience.