Question about asking for a letter of rec for internship at a practicum I'm starting next week.

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by myfuzzypen, Jul 10, 2018.

  1. myfuzzypen

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    Hi all,

    I was looking for your expertise on a question regarding a letter of rec for my predoctoral internship. I am starting a practicum next week and I'm planning to apply to internship this year (2018-2019). Would it be appropriate to ask my supervisor to write a letter of rec for internship?

    PROs of asking: it is at prestigious site, I have a good connection with her, I know she would write an amazing letter
    CONS: I will only be working 16-20 hours a week for an estimated 2.5 months, an estimated 640 hours before internship apps are due.

    What are your thoughts on this? Should I ask? I could ask an older supervisor in 2016 but its been SO LONG...

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Thanks!
     
  2. WisNeuro

    WisNeuro Board Certified Neuropsychologist
    Psychologist 7+ Year Member

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    Have a conversation with the supervisor about it. Acknowledge that you know that it won't have been very long that you've been there and you are wondering about how they handle letters for someone in the process.

    For me personally, it'd be rough. Especially in neuropsych, as the prac students generally take a while to just get trained up on test admin first, so it can take a while before I actually see them engage with patients in a meaningful way. If the prac student were good, I could still write a letter, it just wouldn't say much and I would acknowledge that I had yet to see them in a set of clinical contexts to fully gauge their readiness for internship. I won't outkick my coverage on a letter of rec, that's my reputation on the line. There are several supervisors I have on my blacklist, as in I disregard their letters due to reputation, or straight out inaccurate letter writing. I'm not going to be that person.
     
  3. BuckeyeLove

    BuckeyeLove Forensic Psychologist
    Psychologist 2+ Year Member

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    Agree with Wis, have that convo as early as possible and be transparent about your training needs. My final prac year letter of rec was pretty critical in me securing many of my interview spots IMHO (not solely responsible, but it was a big deal I'm sure, as my writer/supervisor was an ABFP/J.D. with connections in BOPS and state psychiatric facilities across the country). I knew this going in, and made sure to let him know that I wanted to do everything that I could to procure as much experience in that time period as possible, and he was totally cool about making that happen. Had I not said anything though, not sure it would've happened.
     
  4. psych.meout

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    2016 was just two years ago. Practicum supervisors, who also went through this process when they were in grad school, know that writing recommendations is part of the job. It's normal to get recommendations from supervisors throughout your years in grad school, not just those at the end. Yes, it would have been helpful to mention something about writing a recommendation down the line when you were originally at the practicum site, but as long as your performance was good and you think they would write a flattering letter, there's no reason not to use the 2016 supervisor.

    Now if your upcoming site is related to what you want to do for a career and the 2016 one is unrelated (e.g., you want to go into neuropsych, but only the upcoming one is neuro-related), then I guess you should talk to the upcoming supervisor now, but I'd be concerned about my overall prospects for going into this area if I need to use a recommendation from a practicum site where I spent so little time.
     

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