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Recommendation Dilemma

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s1986

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Hi,
I am applying for the Fall 2009 session and I am having some problems with the recommendation letters. I went to a large school and only had a couple of smaller classes. I emailed some professors a couple of weeks ago regarding recommendations -- however, I only got one response. I have been out of school since May, 2008 -- so basically I have one recommendation from a professor, one from my research coordinator/director and I need one more. I am not quite sure what to do as Christmas holidays are approaching and due dates are mid January. If someone could give me some ideas, I would really appreciate it! I also worked for a non-profit organization and was wondering if a recommendation from the director there would suffice?

Thanks!
 

nimesis

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Generally, they recommend 2 letters from professors and 1 letter from a work reference. However, in cases where the person has been out of school for a while, they will accept 2-3 work references. I think the purpose of the letter of rec is to get some kind of assurance that you can handle a rigorous academic program, and that's why they prefer getting letters from professors. I graduated last year (June 2007) and I got 2 letters from professors, and 1 from a work reference, but I came from a small school. In your case, I think they'd be okay with 2 work references and 1 academic one, but maybe you should go in and talk to either of your work references about making their letter more tailored to assessing your academic abilities rather than your professional abilities. Good luck with the application process.
 
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What about your academic advisor at your undergrad? Mine wrote a LoR for me and I think I might have met with him once during the 4 years I was in undergrad.
 

honeysuckle

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I was in the exact same dilemma as you. Really. I didn't know who to ask for an LOR, the deadline was approaching, but unlike you I had already been out of undergrad for a few years. I didn't even have potential work-related references, either. I had to just suck it up and go to my old professors who I didn't even work very closely with and ask them for an LOR. I was lucky and they said yes and had the recs to me in a few days. It hasn't even been a year since you were out of school, so if you can't get a LOR from the director of the nonprofit, it couldn't be that bad to find an old prof to write one, even if you didn't really know them well. Sometimes you just jave to do what you have to do. Don't know if that helps. At the very least, I can just offer my commiseration :(
 

tammyvlt

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I also was concerned about who to ask for LORs. I ended up asking a former employer, a supervisor from a hospital where I worked, and my pre-health academic advisor. I was worried because I did not ask any professors, but so far it doesn't seem to have affected the strength of my application. tho my story may be different because I am going into Health Management/Policy, I think the most important thing is to have strong letters that are personal and positive.
 

s1986

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Thanks everyone! It really helps to hear everyone's feedback :) I finally got an email back from a prof and the director, so hopefully (fingers crossed) the recommendations will go through
 
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