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Author Topic: Help with LOR Options  (Read 913 times)

sharpy

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Help with LOR Options
« on: August 21, 2008, 09:31:08 AM »
I've been out of school for 3+ years and spent my senior year studying abroad in a developing country, so it has been four years since I've taken a class at my university.  On top of that most of my classes were lectures with 150+ students, so I did not develop any relationships with professors.  So at this point I'm not very optimistic about my LOR options, but any advice would be appreciated.  As I see it these are my three options:

1. My boss for the last 1.5 years.  From what I've read it's better to have academic LORs than work ones, but my boss is a former professor and I work in social science research, so it seems quasi-academic.  He also knows me best and would be able to write a very good letter.

2. One or two professors from 4+ years ago.  There are a couple of professors I could contact, though I doubt they would remember anything about me.  Ironically, I received a C from the one professor that got to know me at all, so I am not planning on contacting him.  Nevertheless I could see sending my info to a few professors and getting two average to poor LORs here.

3. One or two professors from 3+ years ago from abroad.  The classes I took abroad were smaller and the professors knew me better because of I was one of the only Americans there.  One of the professors there is very distinguished in his country, though I don't know if that would help any.  I could see getting two decent to good letters here.  However, given LSAC signature requirements, etc. it seems like a major hassle to get LORs from abroad.

At this point I think I'll try for one from each category, assuming I can get a letter from abroad.  If not it looks like I will have to make do with #1 and #2.  Again, any advice would be appreciated.

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Re: Help with LOR Options
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2008, 09:40:02 AM »
Lord of the Rings (LOR) options?

I'd say, go with Boromir. He's got a bone trumpet, and that's just cool.. Plus he dies... can't get any more low maintenance than that.

Stay away from that Legolas, you'll have to buy him flowers every week.

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Re: Help with LOR Options
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2008, 09:46:10 AM »
Seriously though, as far as academic references are concerned, approach only those profs from whom you received an A- or better.

Also, it really doesn't matter if they remember you or not. Ask if they will schedule a meeting with you to discuss your ambitions, goals, academic career, etc. (This is what I did)

Just be sure to bring a few writing samples and your cv so they can assess your academic potential on a more objective basis.

Work references are always good, but limit them to one. Academic references are far more valuable to adcoms if they're obtainable.

blueskies6

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Re: Help with LOR Options
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2008, 10:08:50 AM »


3. One or two professors from 3+ years ago from abroad.  The classes I took abroad were smaller and the professors knew me better because of I was one of the only Americans there.  One of the professors there is very distinguished in his country, though I don't know if that would help any.  I could see getting two decent to good letters here.  However, given LSAC signature requirements, etc. it seems like a major hassle to get LORs from abroad.



I don't know what country you were in, but make sure they write well in English.  It won't help you much if the adcomms can barely understand what they're trying to say :P  It shouldn't be a problem w/LSAC, just send the recommender that form that you have to download along with an envelope/postage to get it back to LSAC
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