getting letters of rec

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ceelo, Oct 10, 2001.

  1. Ceelo

    Ceelo Senior Member

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    I'm just wondering if anyone got letters of rec from science profs they didn't know too well. I having two profs that I am asking right now. They don't know me but I took their classes. Please share your experiences on how receptive professors were when you asked them for LORs.
     
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  3. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    I can give you two experiences asking for letters of recommendation from professors that did not know me well. I have been out of school for a while so I hadn't had a class from either of these professors since 1994. One professor graciously accepted and then asked me to sit and talk about what I had done since I graduated and what my motivations towards medicine were. The other graciously said they did not feel comfortable writing me a letter since they weren't even in the same position and they only vaguely remembered me from so long ago. Neither experience was uncomfortable so just ask and you shall see what happens.
     
  4. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member

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    Yeah, I had to ask two profs who didn't know me well. I had better reqs, but some schools specifically ask for letters from profs that "taught you formally", ie not profs you TA's for, did research with, etc.

    What I did was go over in my mind what profs might actually remember me from their huge classes. Did we ever chat in the halls? Maybe they stopped by the lab and we chatted there? you get the idea. Anyhoo, I sent out nice formal emails to the profs that made "the cut", explaining who I was and asking for an appointment so we could sit down and talk. I also described myself briefly, so hopefully they could place a face with my name! Much to my suprise, every prof I contacted responded promptly, and agreed to meet with me right away (and most said they knew exactly who I was! man, some of these guys/girls have AWESOME memories...)

    I prepared bound packets for each prof. Within the packets were a copy of my transcript, a copy of my AMCAS, a CV, a more inclusive list of activities, and a short list of references. My advice to you is to prepare packets!! The profs were really appreciative and impressed.

    All the meetings I set up went great, and in the end I got to pick and choose which letters I sent out to back up my "real" recs (the ones from people who really knew me).

    So the take home message here is that it IS possible to get good recs from people who don't know you well. Just be polite and professional, and go the extra mile to provide them with all the info they might need.

    Oh, and send thak you notes/emails, and let them know how it turns out for you!

    Good Luck!

    Racergirl
     
  5. Premed315U

    Premed315U Senior Member

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    Thanks for your great advice racergirl.

    How did you go about e-mailing the professor? Did you ask to meet with them to discuss the rec, or just ask to meet with them without initially mentioning the rec? I have one professor who I know as an acquaintance, but I kinda feel uncomfortable asking him because he's so famous and I feel like he has better things to do than write me a rec.

    Is it standard to give them your personal statement when asking for the rec? Or, do most just give a resume?

    thanks
     
  6. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member

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    I was totally honest in my initial emails. I explained why I wanted to meet with them (will you write me letter?) and explained why I was asking them (I go to a large school with huge classes so I don't know that many profs that have formally taught me; but that's what the schools want, and I think you know me at least by sight, blah blah blah).

    I don't know if it's standard to hand over your personal statement, but I gave it to every one of my letter writers. most expected it too, so maybe it is standard. Be sure to add in your emails that you will provide them with any info they require.

    Don't worry about asking Mr. Famous. I was a little shy about it too (one of the profs I asked is a well known genetics guy), but it was totally cool. Just ask. Be polite, be professional, but be yourself. I really think that if someone you ask feels they can't write you a good letter, they'll tell you so.

    Again, good luck!
     

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