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Question #93227 posted on 07/21/2020 12:02 p.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What is the proper etiquette for contacting departments and professors for class/career counseling? Or most likely effective way?

Y-Message? BYU-named email (and how is that set up again)? One's normal, respectably-named personal email?

-Q 93


Dear Q,

In my experience, the best way to get in contact with anyone in the academic field and ensure a response is to email the professor you're looking to talk to (or the department head, whose name and contact info should be available online) directly to their listed email. They're checking it frequently, and ~most~ professors are pretty quick at responding.

Send it from your personal email as long as it's not totally ridiculous, or if you like to keep all your school stuff in one place, start a new email. Regarding your question about the BYU proxy email system, the website is https://alias.byu.edu/, but you should know that the aliases are only used to receive mail, not send it (So like, when you set up an Amazon Prime Student account, it made me use a .edu email, which is where this comes in handy.) 

If you don't get a response in a couple of days, send a follow up/check-in email. Don't do that more than twice otherwise it's annoying. If you're still having trouble, you can try calling the department specifically and asking how best to contact the professor. I wouldn't recommend trying to call professors, though.

Y-message, in general, isn't effective for contacting specific people. It's better for when you have a question about a topic that applies to more of the university than just one department (like financial aid, admissions, etc.) 

(Or, like guppy's sister, you could also knock on doors. Some professors are totally open to this, others can be quite cranky. Or, given the state of the world right now, you won't encounter anyone at all. But hey, it's an option)




Dear Q 93,

Funny story: my little sister, a very chill and outgoing person, decided this past fall as a freshman at BYU that she needed to figure out what to major in. So she started wandering the hallways, poking her head in open professors' doors, and asking if they had a few minutes to talk with her about their field of study.

Guess what? She had some amazing conversations and got offered a job as a Research Assistant for a random professor she had never met before in a major she was slightly interested in. She got to travel to Oregon for a weekend and study sea creatures as a result of wandering hallways to talk to random professors.

I want to be like my sister when I grow up.

-guppy of doom