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rosemma

MSU CVM c/o 2012
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Feb 14, 2007
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Hey Everyone! I have a few questions regarding letters of rec. First, I have read you shouldn't have an old high school teacher write a letter and I completely understand why - but I think in my situation, it might be an exception and I was wondering if that mattered at all.

Here is the situation - in high school my teacher had a niece that was only a year ahead of me in school and she ended up being in a tragic car accident and passing away. Well, we were always pretty good friends and I did really well in her class so I felt I should be supportive and I tried to be. In a letter she wrote for me for college she wrote about how I was compassionate and supportive during a tough time when most others, including most adults, weren't even able to even look her in the eye because they didn't know how to deal with a tough situation like that.

I figured this would show the committee that I was able to deal with death and tough situations, which I will have to when it comes to clients and their pets. I know it is from high school, but I also have kept in touch with her throughout college and we have remained very much in touch. I figured she could re-write/update a letter.

What do you think?? Would this be appropriate?
 

Angelo84

Tufts Class of 2011
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Jan 25, 2007
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Most of the schools I applied to wanted either one vet reccomendation, and two professors--your advisor or professors you had for science classes. Other schools wanted two veterinarians and one professor. So I don't think your high school teacher would count. You could talk about that experience in your personal statement if it influenced you though.
 

SaberVet

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I agree with Angelo84. I think your specific experience in high school is a great reflection upon your character, but that is more subjective and should be brought up in interviews. The VMCAS application is mostly objective. My school prefers 2 veterinarians and 1 science academic professor. At the very least, I would go with one veterinarian and 2 college professors.
 
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rosemma

MSU CVM c/o 2012
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Feb 14, 2007
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The schools I am applying to said that the only restriction on the letters is that I have to have ONE vet and then the rest can be from anyone but family, which I obviously would never do. Plus, it's not me being subjective about the situation - it was my teacher's opinion.
 

peco

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from what i have heard, vet schools usually want letters from professors because they want to see how you can handle the heavy academic demand in vet school, apart from looking at your gre and gpa. they also want at least a letter from a vet, as vet is the best person that can evaluate you and see if you fit well in doing all the clinical work etc..

i agree that it's a good idea to put your characterisitcs and your story in your personal statement instead.
 

Sassygirl

OSU CVM Class of 2011
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Jan 21, 2007
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The schools I am applying to said that the only restriction on the letters is that I have to have ONE vet and then the rest can be from anyone but family, which I obviously would never do. Plus, it's not me being subjective about the situation - it was my teacher's opinion.

I could be wrong but the admissions committees may consider a letter from a high school teacher a little dated... In addition, it might be better to get a reviewer that can comment not just on your character but your work ethic, your skills with animals, your animal related knowledge, ect. Depending on what vet schools you are applying to you could include the letter from your teacher as a 4th recommendation (some schools do look at these). Obviously you could submit this letter as one of you three letters of recommendations... I just don't think that I would...
 

ri23

OSU CVM Class of 2011
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I think that if your schools request one from a vet, and one from a professor, or two from vets and leave the third up to you that that would be acceptable. Obviously the letter wouldn't count as a science academic source but I don't think that would be a problem for the "other" category, especially if the teacher knows you very well.
 

Emio

Fudge Bane
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Depending on what vet schools you are applying to you could include the letter from your teacher as a 4th recommendation (some schools do look at these). Obviously you could submit this letter as one of you three letters of recommendations... I just don't think that I would...
i agree with this. nothing wrong with sending an extra letter in, but... there's a but. vet schools want to see you know you want to work as a vet and that you're prepared to handle the heavy science curriculum, not necessarily what good friends have to say about you. sure, she was a teacher at one point... but that was a while ago.

in addition, i would hope that the vets you work with can vouch for your compassion and maturity. while this letter would indeed point out one specific instance of benevolent character, i bet you can get several letters that suggest your entire character is benevolent, instead of "s/he was great in this one story."

i hope that made sense.
 
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