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Any nontrads here get decent LORs from professors who didn't remember them?

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memos

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Nontrad here. Struggling to grab LORs from science faculty. I'm thinking about just asking profs of classes I did well in and asking if they can write me a positive letter with materials from my resume and personal statement. I'll be doing this in person to read for any signs of reluctance (though they're profs, so I doubt they'd have any problem saying "No"), and also to have a quicker reply than through email.

Not expecting them to get me into med school. I just don't want them to **** on my application.

Just wondering if any nontrads had any success with this approach?

I know this is far from ideal, but I need to fill those damn requirements. Again, I just don't want these letters getting my application tossed in the garbage.

I know I'm dumb for not keeping connections with my science profs...lesson learned.
 
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wizzed101

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I can't really help with the science. My profs know me really well....

But how do you deal with the one non-science letter?
 

DingoPingo

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I emailed one of my science professors from about 2.5 years ago, whom I had never talked to in person, asking for LOR.

He said he remembered my face and that I was an excellent student.

Try it, it might work out for you. Professors are probably used to people coming back years later trying to get LORs.
 
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memos

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I emailed one of my science professors from about 2.5 years ago, whom I had never talked to in person, asking for LOR.

He said he remembered my face and that I was an excellent student.

Try it, it might work out for you. Professors are probably used to people coming back years later trying to get LORs.

Yeah I don't have many options so I'll try it. I'll have to hope that they're open to further meetings to get to know me better since that's the big issue.
 

kamakazi5

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Yeah I don't have many options so I'll try it. I'll have to hope that they're open to further meetings to get to know me better since that's the big issue.

I haven't contacted him yet but I had a really cool younger professor from a few years ago who said he was always willing to write LORs. I'm hoping that turns into one. I bet the younger they are the more willing they would be to help out; especially if you didn't form a great relationship with them.
 

sunshinefl

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    I looked up their current office hours and went to see them. They usually set appointments to come back, so I did. Each one interviewed me for about an hour as it turned out. I also provided them with a folder which included a cover letter (instructions and thanks), a personalized letter with what was memorable to me about the class (with specifics!), my CV, my personal statement, the interfolio cover sheet, and a stamped addressed envelope to send it in to interfolio.

    **for non-science professors I also included an assignment from the course, like a paper.
     

    mouster

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    N=1, but when I was gathering my LORs I wasn't getting timely responses for my science letters. I started freaking out, and emailed one of my old professors from a college I took one class at. I did well in the class, and I was surprised that she emailed me back almost immediately saying absolutely. I sent her an update on what I'd been doing since she had seen me last, and I had a LOR by the end of the week. There's definitely no harm in asking!
     

    memos

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    N=1, but when I was gathering my LORs I wasn't getting timely responses for my science letters. I started freaking out, and emailed one of my old professors from a college I took one class at. I did well in the class, and I was surprised that she emailed me back almost immediately saying absolutely. I sent her an update on what I'd been doing since she had seen me last, and I had a LOR by the end of the week. There's definitely no harm in asking!

    Would you say she remembered you? Sounds like she's just a really nice person overall. Crossing my fingers this works for me too.
     

    mouster

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    Would you say she remembered you? Sounds like she's just a really nice person overall. Crossing my fingers this works for me too.

    Honestly, I had money on her not remembering me. I went to this college for one class, and while I was a good student I don't remember being particularly memorable (I didn't go to her office hours or anything). I did participate in class, but not an undue amount, so I was pleasantly surprised that she remembered me. Fingers crossed for you as well! Getting LORs is so stressful sometimes.
     

    Hierophant

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    I am/was in the same boat as you, and I have had some success. I approached one professor I had never previously spoken with and asked him if he would be willing to discuss my candidacy for medical school to see if he would be comfortable writing me a "supportive" letter of recommendation. We scheduled a time and got a cup of coffee. We ended up chatting for about half an hour, and he was pretty understanding about writing the letter (made a comment about understanding how it can be difficult to form relationships with professors when you're in a class with 100+ other students). I emailed another professor (introduced myself, told him what grade I earned in his class and when I took it, said I've been pursuing a career in medicine, asked if he would be willing to meet and discuss writing me a letter, and also suggested providing him with my personal statement, resume, transcripts, etc. if he didn't think a meeting was necessary). Same deal as the first professor. You have to keep in mind that writing letters of recommendation is part of a professor's professional responsibilities, and some of them are happy to do it. Worst they can do is say no. Good luck!
     

    Doctor-S

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    Nontrad here. Struggling to grab LORs from science faculty. I'm thinking about just asking profs of classes I did well in and asking if they can write me a positive letter with materials from my resume and personal statement. I'll be doing this in person to read for any signs of reluctance (though they're profs, so I doubt they'd have any problem saying "No"), and also to have a quicker reply than through email.

    Not expecting them to get me into med school. I just don't want them to **** on my application.

    Just wondering if any nontrads had any success with this approach?

    I know this is far from ideal, but I need to fill those damn requirements. Again, I just don't want these letters getting my application tossed in the garbage.

    I know I'm dumb for not keeping connections with my science profs...lesson learned.

    I have prepared many LORs for pre-med, pre-law, pre-veterinary medicine, and pre-PhD students.

    Fortunately, many "A" letter grade students make a point of staying in contact with me (during office hours, as well as outside of class). Others do not stay in contact with me, for a variety of reasons (including shyness or procrastination). Thereafter, when they (i.e., the out-of-contact) students contact me to request a LOR, I often do not remember them at all; and I need to know them well to prepare a truly positive LOR for them.

    Here is what I do with students who have NOT maintained contact with me:

    I schedule an office appointment with them to discuss their request for a LOR if they satisfy certain preliminary criteria: (a) they have earned a letter grade of "A" in my class; (b) their sGPA meets a certain threshold; (c) their overall GPA meets a certain threshold, and (d) they have strong ECs.

    Here are some other friendly suggestions (which you may, or may not, choose to use):

    1. When you meet with the professor, bring your updated c.v.

    2.
    Bring your most recent academic transcript.

    3.
    Bring your personal statement.

    4.
    Bring a LIST of questions/comments that you want to discuss with the professor. Prepare these questions/comments ahead of time. Think about them ahead of time. I need to know that you are taking our office meeting seriously.

    5. Make sure you are organized and prepared (in advance of the office appointment). In fact, bring in file folders containing the same information - one for you, and one for me.

    6. Bring all information that a professor would need to know (or have or see) to prepare a strong and detailed LOR for you. This includes information or materials required by each graduate school to which you intend to apply (e.g., how are LORs submitted to the graduate school, by postal mail, or online, or something else), as well as the LOR timeline (when do you need the LOR submitted to the graduate school). Each professor will probably need a certain amount of lead time to prepare a detailed LOR for you. So, if you tell me the LOR is due in 24 hours, I won't be able to help you.

    7.
    Be on time for your office appointment with the professor and be professional.

    8. Ask the professor if the professor would be ready and willing to prepare a detailed and positive LOR on behalf of the student. If the professor hesitates, seems reluctant, or hems-and-haws ... politely say "thank you" and proceed to another professor, using the same respectful approach and protocol.

    Anyway, those are some of my suggestions, based on my own LOR experiences with students.

    LORs are important. You need positive LORs. As mentioned above, if a student (who has not maintained contact with me) can show compelling evidence of strong scholarship, as well as strong ECs, I often take time away from my own schedule to meet with the student for about 2 hours. After our meeting, I will promptly inform the student of my LOR decision (yes or no) because the student often has a "need to know" ASAP. If I say "yes" and prepare a LOR for the student, my LOR will be 100% positive and "personalized with super-strong details" for each student.

    Thank you.
     
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    Hierophant

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    I have prepared many LORs for pre-med, pre-law, pre-veterinary medicine, and pre-PhD students.

    Fortunately, many "A" letter grade students make a point of staying in contact with me (during office hours, as well as outside of class). Others do not stay in contact with me, for a variety of reasons (including shyness or procrastination). Thereafter, when they (i.e., the out-of-contact) students contact me to request a LOR, I often do not remember them at all; and I need to know them well to prepare a truly positive LOR for them.

    Here is what I do with students who have NOT maintained contact with me:

    I schedule an office appointment with them to discuss their request for a LOR if they satisfy certain preliminary criteria: (a) they have earned a letter grade of "A" in my class; (b) their sGPA meets a certain threshold; (c) their overall GPA meets a certain threshold, and (d) they have strong ECs.

    Here are some other friendly suggestions (which you may, or may not, choose to use):

    1. When you meet with the professor, bring your updated c.v.

    2.
    Bring your most recent academic transcript.

    3.
    Bring your personal statement.

    4.
    Bring a LIST of questions/comments that you want to discuss with the professor. Prepare these questions/comments ahead of time. Think about them ahead of time. I need to know that you are taking our office meeting seriously.

    5. Make sure you are organized and prepared (in advance of the office appointment). In fact, bring in file folders containing the same information - one for you, and one for me.

    6. Bring all information that a professor would need to know (or have or see) to prepare a strong LOR for you. This includes information or materials required by each graduate school to which you intend to apply (e.g., how are LORs submitted to the graduate school, by postal mail, or online, or something else), as well as the LOR timeline (when do you need the LOR submitted to the graduate school). Each professor will probably need a certain amount of lead time to prepare a detailed LOR for you. So, if you tell me the LOR is due in 24 hours, I won't be able to help you.

    7.
    Be on time for your office appointment with the professor and be professional.

    8. Ask the professor if the professor would be ready and willing to prepare a detailed and positive LOR on behalf of the student. If the professor hesitates, seems reluctant, or hems-and-haws ... politely say "thank you" and proceed to another professor, using the same respectful approach and protocol.

    Anyway, those are some of my suggestions, based on my own LOR experiences with students.

    LORs are important. You need positive LORs. As mentioned above, if a student (who has not maintained contact with me) can show compelling evidence of strong scholarship, as well as strong ECs, I often take time away from my own schedule to meet with the student for about 2 hours. After our meeting, I will promptly inform the student of my LOR decision (yes or no) because the student often has a "need to know" ASAP. If I say "yes" and prepare a LOR for the student, my LOR will be 100% positive and "personalized with super-strong details" for each student.

    Thank you.

    With regards to point #4, what kind of questions? Questions the student anticipates the professor will ask them? Or if you mean questions the student has for the letter writer, could you provide an example of a question you would expect from a letter-seeking student?
     

    Doctor-S

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    With regards to point #4, what kind of questions? Questions the student anticipates the professor will ask them? Or if you mean questions the student has for the letter writer, could you provide an example of a question you would expect from a letter-seeking student?
    Thank you for your question, Hierophant.

    My response:

    Questions that you (the student) might want to ask the professor (during or at the conclusion of your meeting). Of course, when you meet with the professor, your questions might change, or become more specific, based on your meeting.

    However, it is common for students to forget to ask standard questions (due to anxiety, multitasking, etc.). So, if you write down some standard questions ahead of time, you will help yourself remain better organized, and manage your time more efficiently. To me, it is a sign of professionalism, organization, good time management, courtesy, and attention to details.

    I also believe it is important for the student to ask the professor: do you feel comfortable writing a positive LOR for me? [The professor needs to provide you with a timely answer to this important question, and not leave you stranded without an answer for the next 2 weeks!]

    Here are some other questions (and you may have more): Do you need more information from me? Reason: I need A LOT of details because graduate schools (including medical schools) want evidence of your merit, academic readiness, and ability to succeed in graduate school.

    If yes, what more do you need from me (e.g., copies of research articles)? It is my personal policy to read the student's research articles or look at their poster presentation materials. Once again, I need details so that I can write a detailed, strong, and positive LOR for you.

    Thank you.
     
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    binko

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    I think all my profs at least vaguely remember me, mostly because I was known widely for turning complicated biochem info into huge flowcharts that either amazed or annoyed them. I don't know how much else some of them remember about me though. If you did something weird like that maybe you can mention it to jog their memory?
     
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    Chimichica

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    @Goro and anyone else my problem is most (like all but 2) of my prof are either deceased, retired, or moved from the area. (I live in a very transient area) I'm sure I can get the 2 science ones but so far as a non science. My 2 profs that I was really close with are no longer with us. One passed away from alzheimer's and the other diabetes complications. I'm so lost as to what to do.

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    Goro

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    The only thing you can do is take a class now, get tot know the Professor, and then ask for LOR.

    @Goro and anyone else my problem is most (like all but 2) of my prof are either deceased, retired, or moved from the area. (I live in a very transient area) I'm sure I can get the 2 science ones but so far as a non science. My 2 profs that I was really close with are no longer with us. One passed away from alzheimer's and the other diabetes complications. I'm so lost as to what to do.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     

    Chimichica

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    Ok I didn't know if that was "cheating" or not.

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    Chimichica

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    Lol guess I better make the most of it since I'm gonna be paying for it!

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    wonder12

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    @Goro and anyone else my problem is most (like all but 2) of my prof are either deceased, retired, or moved from the area. (I live in a very transient area) I'm sure I can get the 2 science ones but so far as a non science. My 2 profs that I was really close with are no longer with us. One passed away from alzheimer's and the other diabetes complications. I'm so lost as to what to do.

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    If they still work for the university you attended, I would still ask them for a letter by email. I emailed to ask several of my professors (non-trad here as well).
     

    Doctor-S

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    @Goro and anyone else my problem is most (like all but 2) of my prof are either deceased, retired, or moved from the area. (I live in a very transient area) I'm sure I can get the 2 science ones but so far as a non science. My 2 profs that I was really close with are no longer with us. One passed away from alzheimer's and the other diabetes complications. I'm so lost as to what to do.

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    Agree with @Goro.

    If the 3rd letter writer does not need to be an academic professor, you can approach a current (or former) employer with whom you have a positive work history, and request a recommendation letter from them.

    Thank you.
     
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