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By Team Verto London

Building rapport with your faculty is an important part of being a responsible college student. Your faculty are there to support your learning and challenge you to transform your way of thinking. But sometimes it can be nerve-wracking to attend Office Hours for the first time. At Verto, we know this- and we are here to support!

We interviewed Dr Niccolo Salvatori (Professor of Mathematics) and Lauren and Sans (students, London Fall 2023), to share their top tips about making the most of office hours with your faculty:

Why should a student attend Office Hours with their faculty?

Niccolo: Attending office hours with your faculty is a valuable opportunity for students, especially in a challenging course like Mathematics. Here are some reasons why you should make use of this resource:

  • Clarification of Concepts: If you’re struggling with certain concepts or problems, attending office hours allows you to ask questions and get personalized explanations from your professor. They can provide insights and explanations that may not have been clear during regular lectures.
  • Individualized Attention: Office hours provide one-on-one or small group interaction with your instructor. This allows them to understand your specific learning needs and offer guidance tailored to your academic progress.
  • Building a Relationship: Building a positive relationship with your professor can be beneficial in the long run. It can lead to better communication, networking, and potentially even recommendations for research opportunities or future courses.
  • Problem-Solving: Office hours are an ideal time to work through challenging problems or assignments. Professors can guide you in the problem-solving process, helping you develop your critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Feedback on Performance: You can seek feedback on your coursework, assignments, and exams during office hours, which can help you identify areas for improvement and perform better in the course.

How can students prepare for office hours?

Niccolo: Ideally, you should prepare a little for a productive office hours session. To ensure that, here are some steps students can take to prepare effectively:

  • Review Material: Go through your class notes and textbook to identify specific topics or problems you’re struggling with. Make a list of questions or concepts you’d like to discuss.
  • Attempt Problems: Try to work on the problems or assignments on your own first. This way, you can pinpoint the areas where you’re getting stuck and ask for targeted assistance.
  • Be Punctual: Arrive on time for your appointment or office hours. This demonstrates respect for your professor’s time and ensures you have ample time for discussion.
  • Bring Relevant Materials: If you have specific assignments, questions, or graded papers to discuss, bring them along. This will give your professor context for providing more tailored feedback.
  • Be Open to Feedback: Be receptive to constructive criticism and suggestions from your professor. The goal is to improve your understanding and performance.

Why did you attend Office Hours? How did you schedule? To ask questions about homework? 

Lauren: I was having difficulty in class and needed more information. For subjects like Math and English, I wanted clarification on more specific instructions on the assignments. I was aware that teachers were available before and after class and could also contact them through email to confirm.

Sans: I needed help with my assignments. I knew office hours were before class but I pre-scheduled every meeting as this allowed me to prepare myself with the questions I needed to ask.  


How did you prepare? What did you talk about with your professor? 

Lauren: I went into the office hours knowing the specific questions I wanted to ask- that made things a lot easier!

Sans: Always going into the meeting with prepared questions was useful. With my professors I mainly talked about writing assignments, brainstorming on ideas and elaborating more. 

What did you like about the experience? What did you learn about yourself and the material?

Lauren: I liked building a 1:1 connection with the faculty member, and also it made me realize that the material wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was, as meeting with my professor allowed me to get some clarity and understanding.

Sans: I learned how to be proactive and ask for help. Even though I thought my writing abilities were limited, this experience has proven me wrong. It’s very different to high school and I’m taking this as a learning experience. 


What do you love about the Community at the Verto London site? 

Lauren: Every team member is supportive in every way and it shows how much they care. The center in London site is a safe place for everyone and you never feel alone or judged. The team goes above and beyond to support you whenever they can.

Sans: Everyone is here to help,I don’t feel judged and find it easy to reach out for help. Different types of support are available for the students such as workshops. I feel like it’s a very diverse community and you learn a lot, not just academically. I will leave London with new skills and fun experiences that I was able to join such as soccer, yoga and art! 


In conclusion, office hours are a great opportunity for a personalized experience. Our community at the Verto London site, and across all sites, is inclusive and welcoming- and office hours are further evidence of that! Everyone is more than welcome to show up as learning happens best when it is done together and by sharing and communicating with each other. The office hours provide a dedicated space for that. Do not miss out on that! 

Want to see if a Verto start to college can work for you? Apply today to get started.