What to talk about

Worried about what you will say when you are dining with your professor? Don’t be! We have provided some resources that will help set you up for success.

Possible themes and questions to touch on:


  • Why did you decide to become a professor?
  • What made you decide to go into the field that you are in?
  • What is your favorite thing about your career?
  • Which aspects of your job do you like/dislike?

Specific Class Content

  • Why did you discuss last Monday’s lecture the way you did?
  • Can you talk more about your specific research interests?
  • Can you explain this idea a little more?
  • I am interested in learning more about ___ idea. What other resources would you recommend I look into?

Personal Background

  • Where did you get your education?
  • How did you come to Carolina?
  • Where are you originally from?
  • What is your favorite part about being in the Chapel Hill area?

General Interests

  • Where are some interesting places you have been or would like to go? -What are your favorite sports teams? -If you weren’t an instructor/professor, what would you do? 
  • What do you do when you aren’t in the classroom?


  • Prior to meal, brainstorm some of your own discussion topics.
  • Listen to what they are saying and ask follow-up questions. Faculty members want to get to know you as well. At the very least, the Meals with Heels program is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the faculty member. You would be surprised how much of a difference that actually makes.
  • Write a thank-you note /email after your meal to maintain rapport.

Additional conversation tips can be found at the following sources: