Meeting with my advisor about his pending letter, how should I approach this?

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WeakThought

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I'm meeting soon with my advisor/science faculty member in my current post-bac program. He is my 5th letter writer. I'm already complete at many schools I applied to because my 4 letters that I currently have are sufficient enough. But I'm still waiting for this 5th letter from this person as an additional letter and feel that it is an "extremely strong" letter because of our relationship. I asked for the letter in June, set a deadline of 7/31/20, and have followed up regularly with him. He always says he's working on it, but it's already been 3 months since I first asked for the letter, and I need his letter for the schools that require 3 letters MAXIMUM (my advisor's letter will be the 3rd letter I'm planning on submitting because I'm confident that he'll write me a very strong letter).

I'm planning on approaching by telling him about my situation. I'm going to remind him that I am waiting on his letter to be considered complete at the schools that require 3 letters MAXIMUM, and ask him about how I should proceed from there (ie whether he says he will submit it soon so that I can be complete at these schools or if I should use another letter for me to be complete if his delay is indeed hurting my application). I'm going to be as calm as possible and not be rude or aggressive, even though internally I'm frustrated with this whole situation and his delay of over 3 months.

I'm trying to think of all possible scenarios. Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback to approaching him?
 
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The fact that he has delayed writing the letter for this long suggests that the letter may not be as strong as you would like.
 
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Goro

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I'm meeting soon with my advisor/science faculty member in my current post-bac program. He is my 5th letter writer. I'm already complete at many schools I applied to because my 4 letters that I currently have are sufficient enough. But I'm still waiting for this 5th letter from this person as an additional letter and feel that it is an "extremely strong" letter because of our relationship. I asked for the letter in June, set a deadline of 7/31/20, and have followed up regularly with him. He always says he's working on it, but it's already been 3 months since I first asked for the letter, and I need his letter for the schools that require 3 letters MAXIMUM (my advisor's letter will be the 3rd letter I'm planning on submitting because I'm confident that he'll write me a very strong letter).

I'm planning on approaching by telling him about my situation. I'm going to remind him that I am waiting on his letter to be considered complete at the schools that require 3 letters MAXIMUM, and ask him about how I should proceed from there (ie whether he says he will submit it soon so that I can be complete at these schools or if I should use another letter for me to be complete if his delay is indeed hurting my application). I'm going to be as calm as possible and not be rude or aggressive, even though internally I'm frustrated with this whole situation and his delay of over 3 months.

I'm trying to think of all possible scenarios. Does anyone have any suggestions or feedback to approaching him?
Be up front and tell him "Professor, I'm worried about the time constraints of submitting the LORs"
 
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IlDestriero

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The fact that he has delayed writing the letter for this long suggests that the letter may not be as strong as you would like.
Agree 100%. I am busy, I forget things that are not mission critical all the time, but if I wanted to give you a strong LOR it would have made it to the top of the to do list after a reminder, or 2?
I don’t think he wants to write it, or is having trouble with it for some reason.
Either way, that’s not a great sign.
 
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thumbz

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Agree 100%. I am busy, I forget things that are not mission critical all the time, but if I wanted to give you a strong LOR it would have made it to the top of the to do list after a reminder, or 2?
I don’t think he wants to write it, or is having trouble with it for some reason.
Either way, that’s not a great sign.

Exactly this - when I know I'm going to write a really strong letter it gets a post it note on my desk. If I liked you enough to write you a strong letter then I also have a vested interest in helping you succeed.

Lukewarm letters don't get the post it note and often fall to the middle (or bottom depending on the student) of my to do list.

And don't worry neurotic premeds/med students reading this - I'll let you know if I can "write you a strong letter", "write you a letter detailing our experiences" or "can write you a letter but I recommend looking for other letter writers instead". Category 3 - I had one student take me up on that one time, otherwise people tend to be able to read between the lines.
 
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@WeakThought -- if you value and respect the opinion of the experts here, who actually write these letters for people like you, you'll spare yourself the awkwardness of the meeting, cancel it, and move on with your other letters. If it were me, I'd always wonder about it, even if he produced it the day after the meeting after all this time. JMHO.

By they way, how many different threads are you going to start on the exact same topic? Just wondering!! :cool:





 
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candbgirl

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@WeakThought this is the third thread you have started about this very same thing! Looking back, you have gotten excellent advice from a wide variety of SDN members. Including several ADCOMS. For what ever reason you have decided to ignore the advice and ask again! In each thread the replies are basically the same. You have decided to ask again. Why? If you are hoping someone will tell you something different, I think you will be disappointed. If you want to keep harassing this guy that’s entirely up to you! I doubt it’s going to make any difference to the outcome. Your writer knows the cycle timelines and for whatever reason has continued to drag his feet on writing that letter for 4 months! Why are you pursuing this letter? Move on and get ready for interviews! Good luck!
 
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candbgirl

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@WeakThought -- if you value and respect the opinion of the experts here, who actually write these letters for people like you, you'll spare yourself the awkwardness of the meeting, cancel it, and move on with your other letters. If it were me, I'd always wonder about it, even if he produced it the day after the meeting after all this time. JMHO.

By they way, how many different threads are you going to start on the exact same topic? Just wondering!! :cool:





OMG! Nice work @KnightDoc ! I had no idea it was five different threads.
 
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OMG! Nice work @KnightDoc ! I had no idea it was five different threads.
Yeah, TBH, it's looking more and more like either a troll or someone who is so uptight that this letter is going to be the least of their problems. I stumbled onto it because I remembered one of the other threads and was going to link to it, not realizing it was the same OP. Once I saw that, it was easy to find the rest of them even though I hadn't seen them before. Hopefully a moderator will get involved before we have another half dozen threads in the next two weeks! :cool:
 
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