safthegiraffe

2+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2016
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Hello Everyone! What do vet schools want to see in letters of recommendation? What should be indicated on them? Thank you!
 

MixedAnimals77

Trash Panda C/O 2022
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May 16, 2016
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Hello Everyone! What do vet schools want to see in letters of recommendation? What should be indicated on them? Thank you!
From what I have gathered, they really just want an honest evaluation of you as a person. They are looking to see how others view you and what qualities they see in you. Admission committees use this information to see if the qualities other see are qualities they want in a veterinarian. Often times this provides insight for what type of person people see you as since the rest of your application is from your perspective. If you didn't already know, your evaluators have a questionnaire to fill out about you for specific qualities they want to know about. The recommendations provide support to you as an applicant and attempt to help fill in the blanks so to speak. Hope this helped some, maybe others can lend more advice.
 

LyraGardenia

Kansas State c/o 2020
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2013
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Everything said above is correct. I'd add that vet schools like to see diverse letters, e.g. a veterinarian, a professor or academic advisor, and maybe a work supervisor or coach, to speak for your abilities and qualities in different environments. Having all strong letters from vets wouldn't necessarily be bad (unless you're applying to schools that require an academic letter, that is), but if they're all saying the same things about you that's not as interesting or compelling as letters from people who have seen you in different situations.
 
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Awapi

UGA VetMed c/o 2021
7+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2010
365
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I was also told that, whenever possible, you should go with someone who knows you well and would give a strong, personal recommendation over someone you think would sound impressive (for example, if you took a class taught by someone with name recognition in the vetmed field who barely knows you but would write a rec vs a professor who you took for 6 classes who knows you well - go with the one that knows you well).
 

twelvetigers

stabby cat
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2008
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You want someone who believes in you, who knows you can succeed and is willing to say so in no uncertain terms. Someone who knows you well enough to exalt your positive characteristics. Someone who will "go to bat" for you.

All three letters don't have to be like, over the moon... but hopefully at least one can be.
 

M&D

2+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2017
91
126
Ohio
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Pre-Veterinary
Since it's almost time to ask for LOR's for the upcoming application cycle...

  • I have seen many vet schools say that they only read 3 LOR's, but I see many applicants have more than 3 - What is the point?
  • Some vet schools require at least 2 veterinarian LOR's - In your guys' opinion does the third one have to be a professor or can it be a PI who has never taught you in class?
  • Is it beneficial to have a letter from a vet who went to the school you are applying to?
  • Is it better to have a practice owner write the letter versus an associate?
Thanks in advance!
 

mmmdreamerz

c/o 2021
5+ Year Member
Dec 7, 2014
2,737
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Veterinary Student
Since it's almost time to ask for LOR's for the upcoming application cycle...

  • I have seen many vet schools say that they only read 3 LOR's, but I see many applicants have more than 3 - What is the point?
  • Some vet schools require at least 2 veterinarian LOR's - In your guys' opinion does the third one have to be a professor or can it be a PI who has never taught you in class?
  • Is it beneficial to have a letter from a vet who went to the school you are applying to?
  • Is it better to have a practice owner write the letter versus an associate?
Thanks in advance!
I submitted four. I only asked for three and only planned on three and then I had a Dean offer to write me a letter, so I figured anyone who asks to write you a letter should be taken up on it lol. Some schools will read more than three. Those that will only read three usually ask you what three they want you to read.

None of my schools required two DVM LORs and I actually only had one from a DVM but I know that is was a fantastic LOR. My other three were actually written by PhDs...one from a professor who knew me really well, one from a PI who I’d done a lot of research with, and then said Dean who I already mentioned.

The PI who wrote for me never taught me in class. N=1.

If it’s between a vet who knows you really well and one who just went to a school you went to, always choose someone who knows you. Alumni connections just don’t matter all that much (if at all). Can’t say that I think practice owner vs. associate matters. Again, you want letters from people who will speak highly of you and not just write you a generic letter.
 

VMCASSTAFF

5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2013
152
103
Washington, DC
www.aavmc.org
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Pre-Veterinary
Since it's almost time to ask for LOR's for the upcoming application cycle...

  • I have seen many vet schools say that they only read 3 LOR's, but I see many applicants have more than 3 - What is the point?
  • Some vet schools require at least 2 veterinarian LOR's - In your guys' opinion does the third one have to be a professor or can it be a PI who has never taught you in class?
  • Is it beneficial to have a letter from a vet who went to the school you are applying to?
  • Is it better to have a practice owner write the letter versus an associate?
Thanks in advance!
Great questions, thanks!
  • The VMCAS application allows you to enter up to six letters of recommendation to allow the applicant to meet all the various vet school requirements. The minimum number is three, and you must register at least three eLORs in order for your application to be qualified for verification.
  • Make sure you meet the specific requirements for each of the schools you are applying to. This will tell you how many total eLORs you need.
  • There's no advantage to having a letter from a vet that attended the school you are applying to. But as stated, make sure your letter writers know you. Letters that stand out are ones that talk about who you are as person over what a fantastic person you are!
  • Again, practice owners or associate don't matter so long as they know you and can write about who you are.
Hope this helps -

Tony
Director, VMCAS
 

StayingPositive2017

Michigan State CVM c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2017
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Since it's almost time to ask for LOR's for the upcoming application cycle...

I have seen many vet schools say that they only read 3 LOR's, but I see many applicants have more than 3 - What is the point?

Thanks in advance!
Say school X wants two dvms and a professor and school y wants one professor, one research colleague, and a dvm.

You would upload 4 letters and assign which 3 specific letters go to school X and which 3 to school Y. If you had more schools, you might have even more than 4 letters.
 

VMCASSTAFF

5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2013
152
103
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www.aavmc.org
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Pre-Veterinary
Say school X wants two dvms and a professor and school y wants one professor, one research colleague, and a dvm.

You would upload 4 letters and assign which 3 specific letters go to school X and which 3 to school Y. If you had more schools, you might have even more than 4 letters.
The VMCAS system does not allow applicants to "assign" specific letters to specific schools. All eLORs received on an application are sent to all schools you are applying to.

Tony
 

StayingPositive2017

Michigan State CVM c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Aug 2, 2017
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The VMCAS system does not allow applicants to "assign" specific letters to specific schools. All eLORs received on an application are sent to all schools you are applying to.

Tony
I guess I misspoke, my Michigan application had a section for me to say which three letters I wanted them to consider. While it's not assigning persay, I am directing them which ones are intended for them to read?
 
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VMCASSTAFF

5+ Year Member
Mar 13, 2013
152
103
Washington, DC
www.aavmc.org
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Pre-Veterinary
I guess I misspoke, my Michigan application had a section for me to say which three letters I wanted them to consider. While it's not assigning persay, I am directing them which ones are intended for them to read?
Hi! Thanks! I thought you meant IN the VMCAS applications. Yes, you are right, some schools may request applicants to indicate specific eLORs in their supplemental application. Sorry if I misunderstood your comment :)

Tony
 
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hygebeorht

radiology is best ology
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Jan 20, 2013
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Veterinarian
I can't recall exactly, but I believe I had two veterinarians, one professor, and one person I did research with. One of the veterinarians had name recognition - the other one, not so much. My letter writers all knew me well enough to write a letter, although one of the vets strenuously recommended I find a bigger-name vet to write for me. Or maybe she hated LORs, or whatever. She wrote one anyway.

A strong, personal letter from a small-time person is better than a lukewarm impersonal letter from a bigwig. That said, if you have a strong personal letter from someone with name recognition in the academic world, that's great. My 2c.

Also, I agree with whoever posted it - if someone offers to write a letter for you, it's worth taking them up on it.
 
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AnimalLover<3

UIUC Vet Med Class of 2023
Mar 14, 2018
10
5
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Hi guys!

I was curious to know if it was best to have more than one vet LOR or more than one professor LOR?
 

batsenecal

U of I c/o 2021
5+ Year Member
Nov 22, 2013
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Hi guys!

I was curious to know if it was best to have more than one vet LOR or more than one professor LOR?
I only had one letter from a DVM, one from a professor, and one from my supervisor in Residence Life.

The big think is to have letters from people who know you well and can speak well about your positive characteristics that will sell you to the schools you're applying to.
 

SkiOtter

c/o 2022
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Mar 10, 2016
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Hi guys!

I was curious to know if it was best to have more than one vet LOR or more than one professor LOR?
The big think is to have letters from people who know you well and can speak well about your positive characteristics that will sell you to the schools you're applying to.
^^^ this
But you CAN submit more than three letters and some schools will read more than only three letters, but some ask which three you want read. Always good to submit more than 3 juuuuust in case someone falls through at the last minute.
 
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hopefulequinedr

UMN CVM c/o 2022
Apr 11, 2018
31
40
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Since it's almost time to ask for LOR's for the upcoming application cycle...

  • I have seen many vet schools say that they only read 3 LOR's, but I see many applicants have more than 3 - What is the point?
  • Some vet schools require at least 2 veterinarian LOR's - In your guys' opinion does the third one have to be a professor or can it be a PI who has never taught you in class?
  • Is it beneficial to have a letter from a vet who went to the school you are applying to?
  • Is it better to have a practice owner write the letter versus an associate?
Thanks in advance!
When I was preparing to apply (fall 2016) I made a spreadsheet with all of the vet school requirements, including LOR requirements. All required 3, some were very specific with who they wanted letters from and some were less strict. I have attached my findings (again, this info is old and should be double checked) to give you an idea, but some schools would look at up to 6 LORs (unfortunately I didn't note which ones those were). Hope this helps!vet.PNG vet1.PNG
 

Aqua_girl87

MSU class of 2022!
2+ Year Member
Mar 9, 2017
96
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Sometimes you just make due with what you've got. I had three letters from 3 vets as it had been 6 years since the last time I was in school
Likewise. It's been 5 years since I graduated with my B.S., so I wasn't about to go ask any professors for a LOR. I ended up asking 2 DVMs I work with and my agility instructor who knows me very well. :)
 
Feb 11, 2018
38
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Likewise. It's been 5 years since I graduated with my B.S., so I wasn't about to go ask any professors for a LOR. I ended up asking 2 DVMs I work with and my agility instructor who knows me very well. :)
Hi! I’m just curious what schools you applied to, if they “required” any LORs from professors, and if you were accepted, if you don’t mind! I’m in a similar situation now. I am a few years out of undergrad and the professor I had in mind taught a few of my classes in my junior year. I feel like too much time has passed for me to go back and ask her for a letter now. I have 3 vets and a farm manager I work with who I could ask to write letters, but I unfortunately can’t come up with any professors, and I’m not sure how vet schools will perceive that :/
 

SkiOtter

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
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Hi! I’m just curious what schools you applied to, if they “required” any LORs from professors, and if you were accepted, if you don’t mind! I’m in a similar situation now. I am a few years out of undergrad and the professor I had in mind taught a few of my classes in my junior year. I feel like too much time has passed for me to go back and ask her for a letter now. I have 3 vets and a farm manager I work with who I could ask to write letters, but I unfortunately can’t come up with any professors, and I’m not sure how vet schools will perceive that :/
Some schools don’t even require letters from professors. Definitely check with other schools. I applied to and was accepted off the waitlist at Illinois and didn’t have a lor from a professor. Many schools won’t require one from a professor.
 
May 21, 2018
17
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Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Do most students wait until their VCMAs to ask for letters of recommendation? What about getting it while you are shadowing (1-2 years before application time)? Isn't that a long wait between working with the vet and asking for recommendations? Or is it important to only get recommendations from people you worked with with the last few months up until application time?
 

LyraGardenia

Kansas State c/o 2020
5+ Year Member
Dec 9, 2013
2,949
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Do most students wait until their VCMAs to ask for letters of recommendation? What about getting it while you are shadowing (1-2 years before application time)? Isn't that a long wait between working with the vet and asking for recommendations? Or is it important to only get recommendations from people you worked with with the last few months up until application time?
You can mention it earlier and they can write it and save it on their computer if they want, but they would still need to enter it into VMCAS at the time you apply. It's fine to have a letter from someone you haven't worked with in a while, as long as you're certain they remember you and can provide a good letter.
 
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thezekroman

Illinois c/o 2023
Feb 2, 2018
32
14
21
Status
Veterinary Student
Would it be bad if I had my old high school health science advisor as my recommendation?

I got along great with this teacher in high school and even made the effort to visit her when I get the chance and am in town, so I know she would give me a great recommendation (she actually asked me to write a recommendation if that tells you anything). My only problem is that I heard somewhere (I believe the A&M open house one year) that they really don't want to see high school teachers as a recommendation as that may be a sign that you haven't done much since. She said she's written med school letters for students in the past and all but one have gotten in, but there, of course, could be plenty of other factors at play.

I plan to get my veterinarian recommendation from the clinic I currently work at and my pre-vet advisor in college (who I've been talking with in her office almost every day now in addition to having a lot of her classes), so I think I can show that I've been active since high school; however, I'm skeptical about it. I appreciate any advice on this!
 

RS1

5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2013
50
43
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Veterinary Student
I'd add that vet schools like to see diverse letters, e.g. a veterinarian, a professor or academic advisor, and maybe a work supervisor or coach, to speak for your abilities and qualities in different environments. Having all strong letters from vets wouldn't necessarily be bad (unless you're applying to schools that require an academic letter, that is), but if they're all saying the same things about you that's not as interesting or compelling as letters from people who have seen you in different situations.
Literally had a school tell me in a file review that they prefer letters from all vets, because vets know the profession better than your professors. So your mileage my vary depending on the school.
 

SkiOtter

c/o 2022
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Mar 10, 2016
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Literally had a school tell me in a file review that they prefer letters from all vets, because vets know the profession better than your professors. So your mileage my vary depending on the school.
I had one vet LOR and the other two were from my boss of many years (mostly summers) and someone who’s horses I’ve been riding who coordinated a volunteer thing I did both times they had it. They knew me best so they’re who I asked for LORs. Deeeeefinitely varies between schools.
 

batsenecal

U of I c/o 2021
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Nov 22, 2013
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Or is it important to only get recommendations from people you worked with with the last few months up until application time?
Nope. Get letters from those who would know you best. My favorite professor wrote me a letter all three cycles I applied, despite not seeing me in person for most of the second and third cycles. Use your common sense.

Literally had a school tell me in a file review that they prefer letters from all vets, because vets know the profession better than your professors. So your mileage my vary depending on the school.
Jesus. What school was this?!

Would it be bad if I had my old high school health science advisor as my recommendation?
I personally would not use a high school teacher unless you e been actively doing something with them that's going on your application. Who you were in high school is not who you are now and while you've kept in touch, your teacher cannot speak to that outside of a personal friendship. It's almost like getting a letter of recommendation from a friend, not a profeasional, if that makes sense.
 

RS1

5+ Year Member
Dec 19, 2013
50
43
Status
Veterinary Student
Jesus. What school was this?!
UTK. From Dean Kirk herself. I get her point...those in the profession, who have been through vet school themselves, have the best ability to recommend someone who will excel. I also think professors, advisors, etc can make great recommendations...but I see why a veterinarian recommendation carries the most weight.
 

thezekroman

Illinois c/o 2023
Feb 2, 2018
32
14
21
Status
Veterinary Student
How would it look if I got two recommendations from the same hospital?

I know that I'm going to be getting my vet recommendation from the hospital I work and one of my other ones from my pre-vet advisor at undergrad, but I'm not certain about the third. I'm thinking of asking one of the techs at the vet hospital that I work with a lot and learned a lot from, but I'm not sure if that would make my application seem limited getting multiple recommendations from the same place and should instead talk to another one of my professors.

Also, I know the minimum is three, but VMCAS specifies that all of your letters go to all of your schools and I know a couple of the schools don't want any extra recommendations (I know that I'm applying to at least one of them). Should I keep it to 3 to prevent sending extra recommendations to schools that don't want them?

Thanks for all the help and sorry for making so many posts. Just nervous with the application deadline coming up.
 

MixedAnimals77

Trash Panda C/O 2022
2+ Year Member
May 16, 2016
2,779
3,618
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How would it look if I got two recommendations from the same hospital?

I know that I'm going to be getting my vet recommendation from the hospital I work and one of my other ones from my pre-vet advisor at undergrad, but I'm not certain about the third. I'm thinking of asking one of the techs at the vet hospital that I work with a lot and learned a lot from, but I'm not sure if that would make my application seem limited getting multiple recommendations from the same place and should instead talk to another one of my professors.

Also, I know the minimum is three, but VMCAS specifies that all of your letters go to all of your schools and I know a couple of the schools don't want any extra recommendations (I know that I'm applying to at least one of them). Should I keep it to 3 to prevent sending extra recommendations to schools that don't want them?

Thanks for all the help and sorry for making so many posts. Just nervous with the application deadline coming up.
More is always better seems to be the consensus as long as they are GOOD lors. Personally I only had 3 when I applied so I never had to choose and everything was fine. Overall it seems two letters from the same place is ok as long as they are GOOD lors. This is just my personal opinion, but I think trying to get one letter outside of the 2 norms (school and vet) is a good idea (of course epends on the school). I got a lor from a person I've known for 15 or so years through a sport I've done. They watched me grow up and could speak to me as a person outside of the prevet experience and school rigor. For me it added an element to my application to complete the picture of who I am. Go with who will make you comfortable and give you GOOD lors.
 
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SkiOtter

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
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Also, I know the minimum is three, but VMCAS specifies that all of your letters go to all of your schools and I know a couple of the schools don't want any extra recommendations (I know that I'm applying to at least one of them). Should I keep it to 3 to prevent sending extra recommendations to schools that don't want them?
What school doesn’t allow you to have more than 3? Are you sure there’s not a part of their supplemental that asks what three you want them to read out of all your letters? I’ve seen that before but never a school saying “you cannot have more than three letters at all on your vmcas” especially since schools have different requirements for letters than others.

Tbh I’d recommend asking 4 people who will write great letters JUST IN CASE someone falls through and doesn’t submit it on time. I only had three letters and was fine but could have (and potentially should have) gotten one from the other vet I shadowed at the same clinic, just as an extra strong letter to add to my app.
 
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thezekroman

Illinois c/o 2023
Feb 2, 2018
32
14
21
Status
Veterinary Student
What school doesn’t allow you to have more than 3? Are you sure there’s not a part of their supplemental that asks what three you want them to read out of all your letters? I’ve seen that before but never a school saying “you cannot have more than three letters at all on your vmcas” especially since schools have different requirements for letters than others.

Tbh I’d recommend asking 4 people who will write great letters JUST IN CASE someone falls through and doesn’t submit it on time. I only had three letters and was fine but could have (and potentially should have) gotten one from the other vet I shadowed at the same clinic, just as an extra strong letter to add to my app.
A couple schools like North Carolina allow more but prefer to only get 3 while places Colorado will filter only review the 3 that you specify on the supplemental and Mississipi specifies only 3 references. Some schools specify that they accept more while most of the schools just mention the 3 references without mentioning whether or not they will accept more or even if they have a preference.
I appreciate your input though, thanks a bunch!
 

Chili_Cat

WSU CVM c/o 2022
Dec 15, 2017
80
106
Status
Pre-Veterinary
How would it look if I got two recommendations from the same hospital?

I know that I'm going to be getting my vet recommendation from the hospital I work and one of my other ones from my pre-vet advisor at undergrad, but I'm not certain about the third. I'm thinking of asking one of the techs at the vet hospital that I work with a lot and learned a lot from, but I'm not sure if that would make my application seem limited getting multiple recommendations from the same place and should instead talk to another one of my professors.

Also, I know the minimum is three, but VMCAS specifies that all of your letters go to all of your schools and I know a couple of the schools don't want any extra recommendations (I know that I'm applying to at least one of them). Should I keep it to 3 to prevent sending extra recommendations to schools that don't want them?

Thanks for all the help and sorry for making so many posts. Just nervous with the application deadline coming up.
I had one from the vet I worked with most, and another from our hospital manager who’s also an LVT. So same clinic but different relationships with each of them so it worked out. My third was from a professor
 
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SkiOtter

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
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A couple schools like North Carolina allow more but prefer to only get 3 while places Colorado will filter only review the 3 that you specify on the supplemental and Mississipi specifies only 3 references. Some schools specify that they accept more while most of the schools just mention the 3 references without mentioning whether or not they will accept more or even if they have a preference.
I appreciate your input though, thanks a bunch!
I don’t think a school would flat out reject you for having more than three references though, since schools all have different preferences on who they want letters from. Get your letters from whoever knows you best though, even if two are from the same clinic.
 
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hopefulequinedr

UMN CVM c/o 2022
Apr 11, 2018
31
40
Status
Pre-Veterinary
How would it look if I got two recommendations from the same hospital?

I know that I'm going to be getting my vet recommendation from the hospital I work and one of my other ones from my pre-vet advisor at undergrad, but I'm not certain about the third. I'm thinking of asking one of the techs at the vet hospital that I work with a lot and learned a lot from, but I'm not sure if that would make my application seem limited getting multiple recommendations from the same place and should instead talk to another one of my professors.

Also, I know the minimum is three, but VMCAS specifies that all of your letters go to all of your schools and I know a couple of the schools don't want any extra recommendations (I know that I'm applying to at least one of them). Should I keep it to 3 to prevent sending extra recommendations to schools that don't want them?

Thanks for all the help and sorry for making so many posts. Just nervous with the application deadline coming up.
I got two LORs from the same clinic (both vets) that I had worked with for 5 years. I also had two professors (1 science and 1 study abroad) and a work supervisor. I had multiple schools comment on how great my LORs were.

So again, I don’t think it matters so much about if they’re from the same clinic as long as they can write a good letter.
 
Feb 11, 2018
38
9
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I am wondering if anyone here has asked someone for a letter of recommendation in person?

I emailed a professor to ask for a letter, but I want to ask the veterinarians I currently work with (which would be in person). They have mentioned it in the past (like when I first started working there and they knew I was planning on applying) but I want to officially ask them and just make sure they would still be willing to do that for me. It's usually very busy at work, we don't always have a ton of down time, or when we do have down time the Dr's are doing call backs. I also want to be able to catch them in good moods so I feel like I first have to figure out a good time to grab them and ask. But I'm just not sure how to ask them, and how formal I should be about it. I've worked with them every day for over a year and we have good relationships so I don't know if it's acceptable to be more casual about it. I know I need to ask for their email addresses so I can send them the link through VMCAS but should I also offer sending them my resume just in case they want more info to go off of?
 

SkiOtter

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
16,203
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I am wondering if anyone here has asked someone for a letter of recommendation in person?

I emailed a professor to ask for a letter, but I want to ask the veterinarians I currently work with (which would be in person). They have mentioned it in the past (like when I first started working there and they knew I was planning on applying) but I want to officially ask them and just make sure they would still be willing to do that for me. It's usually very busy at work, we don't always have a ton of down time, or when we do have down time the Dr's are doing call backs. I also want to be able to catch them in good moods so I feel like I first have to figure out a good time to grab them and ask. But I'm just not sure how to ask them, and how formal I should be about it. I've worked with them every day for over a year and we have good relationships so I don't know if it's acceptable to be more casual about it. I know I need to ask for their email addresses so I can send them the link through VMCAS but should I also offer sending them my resume just in case they want more info to go off of?
When I asked my vet I brought a copy of my resume in with me when I asked. Printed it on nicer, thicker paper that I had so it wasn’t so flimsy. When I asked, I just asked when I first got there for the day which was before the dr started seeing patients after lunch. He said yes and I told him how the eLORs worked and how he’d get an email with the link to submit it and all.
 

vethopeful_2

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Mar 9, 2017
242
274
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Status
Pre-Veterinary
I am wondering if anyone here has asked someone for a letter of recommendation in person?

I emailed a professor to ask for a letter, but I want to ask the veterinarians I currently work with (which would be in person). They have mentioned it in the past (like when I first started working there and they knew I was planning on applying) but I want to officially ask them and just make sure they would still be willing to do that for me. It's usually very busy at work, we don't always have a ton of down time, or when we do have down time the Dr's are doing call backs. I also want to be able to catch them in good moods so I feel like I first have to figure out a good time to grab them and ask. But I'm just not sure how to ask them, and how formal I should be about it. I've worked with them every day for over a year and we have good relationships so I don't know if it's acceptable to be more casual about it. I know I need to ask for their email addresses so I can send them the link through VMCAS but should I also offer sending them my resume just in case they want more info to go off of?
Currently debating the same thing!! Vets I've been working with for a year now have been talking about writing me a letter since day 1. But for some reason I keep getting so nervous when it comes down to actually asking them for real! I keep waiting for the perfect moment- not too busy, preferably alone, good mood......unfortunately those three variables never line up at the same time haha


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Feb 11, 2018
38
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Status
Pre-Veterinary
Currently debating the same thing!! Vets I've been working with for a year now have been talking about writing me a letter since day 1. But for some reason I keep getting so nervous when it comes down to actually asking them for real! I keep waiting for the perfect moment- not too busy, preferably alone, good mood......unfortunately those three variables never line up at the same time haha


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Exactly! I don't want to wait too long either because it's about 2 months until apps are due. Also I have no way of knowing if they started working on one already or if they will need the whole 2 months to not feel rushed. Let me know how it goes for you!
 
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Lab Vet

Clinical Veterinarian, Global CRO
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
744
871
Massachusetts
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Veterinarian
A couple schools like North Carolina allow more but prefer to only get 3 while places Colorado will filter only review the 3 that you specify on the supplemental and Mississipi specifies only 3 references. Some schools specify that they accept more while most of the schools just mention the 3 references without mentioning whether or not they will accept more or even if they have a preference.
I appreciate your input though, thanks a bunch!
Just wanted to respond that I recently graduated from NCSU's CVM and was admitted with a total of 5 LORs included in my VMCAS packet. I was a true non-traditional applicant (in my 30s when I was admitted), and had LORs from various aspects of my life prior to vet school. Two were from veterinarians in my field of interest (lab animal medicine), one was from a human cardiothoracic surgeon (for whom I worked full-time and conducted research), one was from an undergraduate TA (animal physiology) who had since gone on to finish his PhD and pursue a career in medical writing/continuing medical education (we're colleagues and close personal friends), and one was from my graduate research adviser (PhD). My point in mentioning all of this is that there's no 'one way' to do LORs- with the caveat, of course, that you follow the rules outlined by a particular school. LORs should come from individuals who know you well- preferably in multiple dimensions (academic coursework, research, clinical ability, as a human being). An LOR 'package' should give as 360 degree view as possible of you as an applicant. They also serve to support claims that you make about yourself in the remainder of your vet school application (i.e. if you have all small animal letters, but dream of being a bovine practitioner in your statement of intent- something doesn't jive; ensure that your letters paint a picture of consistency). Best of success with the 2023 cycle, everyone!
 
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Lab Vet

Clinical Veterinarian, Global CRO
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
744
871
Massachusetts
Status
Veterinarian
I am wondering if anyone here has asked someone for a letter of recommendation in person?

I emailed a professor to ask for a letter, but I want to ask the veterinarians I currently work with (which would be in person). They have mentioned it in the past (like when I first started working there and they knew I was planning on applying) but I want to officially ask them and just make sure they would still be willing to do that for me. It's usually very busy at work, we don't always have a ton of down time, or when we do have down time the Dr's are doing call backs. I also want to be able to catch them in good moods so I feel like I first have to figure out a good time to grab them and ask. But I'm just not sure how to ask them, and how formal I should be about it. I've worked with them every day for over a year and we have good relationships so I don't know if it's acceptable to be more casual about it. I know I need to ask for their email addresses so I can send them the link through VMCAS but should I also offer sending them my resume just in case they want more info to go off of?
In my opinion, this is the absolute best way to ask for a letter. Your references should be rock solid supporters of your candidacy. You should have every confidence in the world that these folks are going to have your back when it comes to admissions, and asking in person demonstrates that assurance (shows that you're not afraid of being rejected- and, if you are rejected, you at least had the confidence to ask in the first place). I'd recommend that everyone do this (just my preference). Email is easier for a number of reasons (can 'plan' your communication to the letter, easier to handle rejection/lukewarm reception in the privacy of your own home). One on one communication is the way to go. In this day and age, it's becoming a lost art.
 

Lab Vet

Clinical Veterinarian, Global CRO
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
744
871
Massachusetts
Status
Veterinarian
When I asked my vet I brought a copy of my resume in with me when I asked. Printed it on nicer, thicker paper that I had so it wasn’t so flimsy. When I asked, I just asked when I first got there for the day which was before the dr started seeing patients after lunch. He said yes and I told him how the eLORs worked and how he’d get an email with the link to submit it and all.
Good strategy. I would recommend providing all references with a current copy of your transcript, (draft of) letter of intent, and resume/CV. Even folks who know you well will find this helpful in crafting your letter. Some folks will prefer an actual 'sit down' meeting to discuss the tone and tenor of your letter. The above listed docs provide the framework for such a discussion.
 
Feb 11, 2018
38
9
Status
Pre-Veterinary
In my opinion, this is the absolute best way to ask for a letter. Your references should be rock solid supporters of your candidacy. You should have every confidence in the world that these folks are going to have your back when it comes to admissions, and asking in person demonstrates that assurance (shows that you're not afraid of being rejected- and, if you are rejected, you at least had the confidence to ask in the first place). I'd recommend that everyone do this (just my preference). Email is easier for a number of reasons (can 'plan' your communication to the letter, easier to handle rejection/lukewarm reception in the privacy of your own home). One on one communication is the way to go. In this day and age, it's becoming a lost art.
I absolutely will be asking them in person (I work full time with them, and I don’t know their email addresses) I just don’t really know how to go about it since we work in a busy busy clinic, it’s hard to find time and know how to work it into random conversation. I was just wondering if anyone had a similar experience and how they went about it! I have no doubt they would say yes and that they would write amazing letters. I’m just nervous!
 
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Jul 7, 2018
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I have asked 4 veterinarians from a clinic that I worked at for 1.5 years for letters of recommendation. I know the requirement is 3 letters, but I wanted to have a backup. I then decided that I wanted to apply to more schools and now I am needing academic references. Tufts requires 2 academic eLORs, so I'll end up with 6 eLORs. I am a nontraditional applicant (graduated in 2015) and I feel like my academic references won't be as strong. I was planning to ask a research PI but I haven't seen him since 2015 and my microbiology professor, but the class was only 5 weeks long and he doesn't know me that well. I guess what I'm asking is would it be a deterrent for me to have so many eLORs? I know some schools prefer to only receive 3, but unfortunately not all schools ask you to designate which ones they should read. Thanks!
 

SkiOtter

c/o 2022
2+ Year Member
Mar 10, 2016
16,203
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Veterinary Student
I have asked 4 veterinarians from a clinic that I worked at for 1.5 years for letters of recommendation. I know the requirement is 3 letters, but I wanted to have a backup. I then decided that I wanted to apply to more schools and now I am needing academic references. Tufts requires 2 academic eLORs, so I'll end up with 6 eLORs. I am a nontraditional applicant (graduated in 2015) and I feel like my academic references won't be as strong. I was planning to ask a research PI but I haven't seen him since 2015 and my microbiology professor, but the class was only 5 weeks long and he doesn't know me that well. I guess what I'm asking is would it be a deterrent for me to have so many eLORs? I know some schools prefer to only receive 3, but unfortunately not all schools ask you to designate which ones they should read. Thanks!
If the academic letters will not be strong, then why are you going to apply there and risk them dragging down your application for other schools? :shrug:
 

Lab Vet

Clinical Veterinarian, Global CRO
7+ Year Member
Aug 6, 2011
744
871
Massachusetts
Status
Veterinarian
I absolutely will be asking them in person (I work full time with them, and I don’t know their email addresses) I just don’t really know how to go about it since we work in a busy busy clinic, it’s hard to find time and know how to work it into random conversation. I was just wondering if anyone had a similar experience and how they went about it! I have no doubt they would say yes and that they would write amazing letters. I’m just nervous!
I would just pull one of them aside and ask if they have a moment/could you speak to them privately for a moment. Most folks would be happy to oblige. Hope it works out well :)
 
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Feb 11, 2018
38
9
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I have asked 4 veterinarians from a clinic that I worked at for 1.5 years for letters of recommendation. I know the requirement is 3 letters, but I wanted to have a backup. I then decided that I wanted to apply to more schools and now I am needing academic references. Tufts requires 2 academic eLORs, so I'll end up with 6 eLORs. I am a nontraditional applicant (graduated in 2015) and I feel like my academic references won't be as strong. I was planning to ask a research PI but I haven't seen him since 2015 and my microbiology professor, but the class was only 5 weeks long and he doesn't know me that well. I guess what I'm asking is would it be a deterrent for me to have so many eLORs? I know some schools prefer to only receive 3, but unfortunately not all schools ask you to designate which ones they should read. Thanks!
I am in a similar situation where I have one strong LOR from a professor, but I am unsure about a second faculty member/professor for Tuft's requirements. And I have 3 vets writing letters, so possibly 5 letters total. I emailed Tufts and explained my situation, that I don't believe I will be able to find a second faculty member to write a strong letter. One of the admissions staff basically told me to ask literally anyone (professor from any department, advisor, the dean, anyone) and if I have exhausted every option and I'm not able to get a second letter, to let her know. She said that they are only flexible with applicants that have been out of school for 6 years or more. Some schools, however, are flexible with applicants 2 years or more out of school, so look into those if you're worried!

The woman also mentioned to keep in mind that Tufts will read every letter you have (up to 6 letters) so if you have 5 letters that are strong and the 6th one is only ok, you'll probably still be fine (for them!). I think they just really want to see that you can follow their requirements and not try to make excuses to why you can't fulfill those requirements. A lot of schools do require at least one professor/faculty member so if you feel like neither of your academic options are super strong, offer to meet with them and catch them up on your experiences and goals to both refresh their memory and give them more to talk about in the letter. That way you'll have at least one option for a potentially strong letter. There's only about 2 months left, so keep that in mind!

I would recommend that you double check how the other schools decide which letters to read, that way you will have a better idea if they will end up reading both academic letters, or if you'll be able to designate the stronger one, or if they don't require an academic source at all! If you find that most schools will end up reading every letter, or they don't let you choose, and you think that will only hurt you, then it's probably best to only have your 4 strong letters, and sacrifice the Tufts application. I'm going to do this to make sure I'll be ok with my other applications. Do what is best for your application because you are putting a lot of time and money into applying - you want it to work out! Don't hurt yourself just for one school. Good luck!
 
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emlady09

c/o 20..eventually
2+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2015
416
284
North Carolina
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Pre-Veterinary
So I have a few veterinarians that are willing to write me a great LORs, but they want a copy of my CV. I only have a resume and I don't think it clearly and concisely describes by duties and responsibilities for my last two vet tech positions (not sure how I got the job...:laugh::eek:). On my resume I have skills listed and what I did on the job, but it just looks bulky. Does any one have a sample of their CV for vet tech positions they've held they'd be willing to share? Thank you in advance!!!
 

PrincessButterCup

5+ Year Member
Apr 11, 2014
5,878
8,837
So I have a few veterinarians that are willing to write me a great LORs, but they want a copy of my CV. I only have a resume and I don't think it clearly and concisely describes by duties and responsibilities for my last two vet tech positions (not sure how I got the job...:laugh::eek:). On my resume I have skills listed and what I did on the job, but it just looks bulky. Does any one have a sample of their CV for vet tech positions they've held they'd be willing to share? Thank you in advance!!!
If you haven't already figured out how to fix it, I could take a look at your resume for you. Just shoot me a pm. :)
 
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