You either got your admission or applied to universities and awaiting a decision.The next thing that pops up in your mind “ I need assistantship” .Assistanship can be in any form either Teaching, Research or Graduate Assistantships leading to instate tuition fee.You submitted strong bank statement during application process to prove you have sufficient funds to cover your education, but after you get admission you will become desperate to get an aid.But how can you convience professor staying from other part of the world.I would say it’s pretty tough, but not impossible. Before even bringing up the topic you should have developed a strong relationship through email. The first email should never be request on assistantship. Professors get hundred’s of email in their inbox and answering to each email is impossible for them. First you need to make sure they open your mail. Most of them will not reply if you start your conversation on assistantship righway. Do not ever shoot an email to all the professors in the department. It will only give them a bad impression,
To Convince a professor through email:
1) Identify which professor have funding. How do you know the professor have funding from the website? The simplest trick is go through their pages and see who have bunch of publications. The professor with more publications most likely will have funding. Got it!!
2) Next on your first email introduce yourself and say you are planning to take his courses and tell how it will help you in achieving your goal. If your are taking courses in logistics you should have similar background and your future goal should be aligned with courses and publications. Never open your mouth on assistantship. In your 1st email the Subject should be: PROSPECTIVE STUDENT – Term (e.g Prospective Student – Fall 2012)
3) Second email should talk about books he can recommend, topics that are covered in the courses etc.Your email should never be more than 4-5 lines Max.Make subject as: “Books required for Course 101”
4) During this process go through his publication carefully and pick 3-4 recent publications and learn everything about the paper.You should be an expert next to him on the paper.
5) In third email ask intelligent, simple questions in one of the publication and see if you can offer alternative method.You probably will either get positive or negative reply.Don’t get upset if its negative. It just means you started an healthy relationship, which is good.
6) Keep in touch with email for 5-6 emails.Once you feel the professor is comfortable, ask him what his current projects are and if your profile will fit his expectations if he is looking for someone to assist him in research.This request should be smooth and should not contain blunt wordings.It should be an indirect request. Most probably you will not get reply.Again,don’t worry only 20% of students get reply.If you are Ph.D you mostly likely will get a response but for MS it’s quite hard.Do not get discouraged.
7) Arrive at university and continue the conversation even if he did not offer funding in the first semester.You need to be in constant touch with him during 1st semester.Your chance of getting assistantship with a professor will be high in 2nd semester if you follow this process.Yes it’s a long process.It does take time.
8) Be an active student in his course.Sit in front row and ask questions.
9) Meet professors after class and discuss doubts
10) You should get A+ in his course
11) Once he completely understands you and if you build a strong relationship through emails, personal contact and if you prove in his course work you will get his attention and finally you have more chance than any other student.
Daunting right.Yes that’s the way it is..If you went through this process please post your experience.