Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
TOMaHULK
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Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 10:59 am

Here's my situation:

I graduated 4 years ago. I've been working full time since and I have 2 awesome LORs from my employers (both LORs are from very high ranking people in my business. One has an MBA and the other a PHD-the reason I mention that is just info purposes).

I have an awesome LOR from one of my old professors (I took 6 courses with this professor and received all A's. Also, they are the head of their department at my college).

I've had problems tracking down other professors that I had (either due to teaching changes, moving away, or perhaps bad email addresses listed for these professors on the school's website.)

Since I've been working for 4 years, is 2 from employers and 1 from professor good?

My thoughts: I need more from professors.

Thanks in advance for any/all advice.

high0034
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby high0034 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:07 am

Not knowing what schools you are looking at I can't say this would be a definitive answer, but I had the exact same LOR situation as you (6 years out of undergrad), 2.66./168 and was accepted to a T20 with 15% scholarship and a TT with 45% scholarship.... But I was waitlisted at a TTT and TTTT as well, so go figure.... If they are strong letters from your employers and you trust the prof I would think you should be ok.

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kalvano
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby kalvano » Thu May 13, 2010 11:08 am

No, you should be fine. Most schools, if you've been out of undergrad a reasonable amount of time (and 4 years certainly qualifies), want 1 from a professor and 1 from an employer.

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Bert
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby Bert » Thu May 13, 2010 11:09 am

You will most likely be fine. Many schools only ask for two LORs, so having one from a prof and one from a supervisor/boss will be fine, especially considering you have been out of undergrad for some time.

JOThompson
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby JOThompson » Thu May 13, 2010 11:10 am

For fresh out of undergrad applicants, academic LORs carry the most weight (which isn't much anyways). I feel that employer LORs become a more adequate substitute with several or more years in the workforce. You have the one professor's LOR though and I think you'll be fine with it.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 11:15 am

Great. Surprised by the answers, but I trust your knowledge.

I looked on the LSAC's LOR section and couldn't find much about it.

:D

JOThompson
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby JOThompson » Thu May 13, 2010 11:20 am

TOMaHULK wrote:Great. Surprised by the answers, but I trust your knowledge.

I looked on the LSAC's LOR section and couldn't find much about it.

:D

As most schools only require/suggest two letters of recommendation, you could hold back your second employer LOR in case of a waitlist. Good luck!

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 11:21 am

JOThompson wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:Great. Surprised by the answers, but I trust your knowledge.

I looked on the LSAC's LOR section and couldn't find much about it.

:D

As most schools only require/suggest two letters of recommendation, you could hold back your second employer LOR in case of a waitlist. Good luck!


If that's the case, should I use the highest letter recommenders letter (from employer-the one with the highest rank in the company), or the most personal one? Assuming I only use one and then the one from the prof...

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kalvano
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby kalvano » Thu May 13, 2010 11:22 am

The personal one.

LOR's should be personal.

JOThompson
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby JOThompson » Thu May 13, 2010 11:24 am

kalvano wrote:The personal one.

LOR's should be personal.

Exactly. A LOR from a prestigious person who doesn't really know you is always trumped by a personal LOR from even a TA.

PS: Kalvano, where are you headed for 2010?

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kalvano
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby kalvano » Thu May 13, 2010 11:26 am

Not sure yet. Trying to sell my house, and if I am successful, Wake. If not, SMU.

JOThompson
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby JOThompson » Thu May 13, 2010 11:27 am

Cool, those are both excellent schools. I especially enjoyed my visit to SMU last summer.

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NayBoer
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby NayBoer » Thu May 13, 2010 11:31 am

I had 3 employer LORs, none from professors. I'm out ~5 years.

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JuTMSY4
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby JuTMSY4 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:43 am

I remember a few apps I filled out required 2 prof LORs (I'm 2 years out, but with some really solid WE) letters unless there was a decent threshold (5+ years comes to mind). You may want to acquire a second prof. LOR, even if it is pretty dry...just to keep for such an instance.

Optionally, check out their applications. You'll definitely want one though. My WE LORs were strongest though

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 11:47 am

NayBoer wrote:I had 3 employer LORs, none from professors. I'm out ~5 years.



And how did this effect/does this effect your acceptance?

Note: Guys I'm not going to be applying to top tier schools. Probably tier 3 and tier 4. Sad but true...(just being honest as I think this "may" effect the LOR effectiveness) :?

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missvik218
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby missvik218 » Thu May 13, 2010 11:52 am

Had the same LOR equation, out of school for 3 years 2 professional (President and Executive Vice President of current organization) and 1 academic (from a grad program). I was accepted at two T20s this past cycle and will be attending a T30 with a 50% scholarship.

It does depend on the school though, certain schools will state that they are specifically looking for 2 academic LORs so read the fine print. Cornell comes to mind.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 11:55 am

missvik218 wrote:Had the same LOR equation, out of school for 3 years 2 professional (President and Executive Vice President of current organization) and 1 academic (from a grad program). I was accepted at two T20s this past cycle and will be attending a T30 with a 50% scholarship.

It does depend on the school though, certain schools will state that they are specifically looking for 2 academic LORs so read the fine print. Cornell comes to mind.


Hmm, then maybe I should get another prof's LOR in there for safety? :|

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NayBoer
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby NayBoer » Thu May 13, 2010 11:56 am

TOMaHULK wrote:
NayBoer wrote:I had 3 employer LORs, none from professors. I'm out ~5 years.



And how did this effect/does this effect your acceptance?

Note: Guys I'm not going to be applying to top tier schools. Probably tier 3 and tier 4. Sad but true...(just being honest as I think this "may" effect the LOR effectiveness) :?
Not noticeably. All 3 knew me well and had lots of anecdotes they could've used.

HBK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby HBK » Thu May 13, 2010 12:07 pm

Been out four years. I had two from my employers and one from a client I've had since 2007. None from professors. I went to a large UG, and didn't keep in touch with any of the professors.

I don't think my LORs made much of a difference. I fell in line with everyone else who had my numbers.

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missvik218
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby missvik218 » Thu May 13, 2010 12:26 pm

TOMaHULK wrote:
missvik218 wrote:Had the same LOR equation, out of school for 3 years 2 professional (President and Executive Vice President of current organization) and 1 academic (from a grad program). I was accepted at two T20s this past cycle and will be attending a T30 with a 50% scholarship.

It does depend on the school though, certain schools will state that they are specifically looking for 2 academic LORs so read the fine print. Cornell comes to mind.

Hmm, then maybe I should get another prof's LOR in there for safety? :|

Maybe, check the schools you're interested in here .. --LinkRemoved-- it gives a good sense of what they're looking for in terms of LORs and should just be all around beneficial in helping you get organized.

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 1:17 pm

missvik218 wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:
missvik218 wrote:Had the same LOR equation, out of school for 3 years 2 professional (President and Executive Vice President of current organization) and 1 academic (from a grad program). I was accepted at two T20s this past cycle and will be attending a T30 with a 50% scholarship.

It does depend on the school though, certain schools will state that they are specifically looking for 2 academic LORs so read the fine print. Cornell comes to mind.

Hmm, then maybe I should get another prof's LOR in there for safety? :|

Maybe, check the schools you're interested in here .. --LinkRemoved-- it gives a good sense of what they're looking for in terms of LORs and should just be all around beneficial in helping you get organized.


Thanks for that link.

Do you guys think that LORs are critical to acceptance, or are they more of a formal requirement, but not necessarily taxing on your chances?

starstruck393
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby starstruck393 » Thu May 13, 2010 1:29 pm

TOMaHULK wrote:
missvik218 wrote:
TOMaHULK wrote:
missvik218 wrote:Had the same LOR equation, out of school for 3 years 2 professional (President and Executive Vice President of current organization) and 1 academic (from a grad program). I was accepted at two T20s this past cycle and will be attending a T30 with a 50% scholarship.

It does depend on the school though, certain schools will state that they are specifically looking for 2 academic LORs so read the fine print. Cornell comes to mind.

Hmm, then maybe I should get another prof's LOR in there for safety? :|

Maybe, check the schools you're interested in here .. --LinkRemoved-- it gives a good sense of what they're looking for in terms of LORs and should just be all around beneficial in helping you get organized.


Thanks for that link.

Do you guys think that LORs are critical to acceptance, or are they more of a formal requirement, but not necessarily taxing on your chances?


A superior LOR might give a little boost, but LOR's are more of a check than anything else (like the GRE). Bad LOR's go a lot farther in hurting you than good ones go to help you...

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NayBoer
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby NayBoer » Thu May 13, 2010 1:30 pm

I think great LORs at most help only a tiny, tiny bit. Most LORs probably are irrelevant. I imagine most commonly LORs help for borderline applicants, if they ever help.

My impression is that bland LORs can get you waitlisted if you have a thin resume and no extracurriculars.

starstruck393
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby starstruck393 » Thu May 13, 2010 1:32 pm

FWIW, I had that same LOR breakdown-1 prof, 2 summer employers-coming straight from UG, and I did just fine. I met, if not exceeded, expectations for my numbers. So especially for people a few years out of school, I don't think you have anything to worry about as long as you're confident that you'll get good, personal recommendations. (If you think it's just going to be a form letter, you're probably better off going elsewhere, unless you have no other options).

TOMaHULK
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Re: Is 2 LOR's from employers and 1 LOR from Prof bad?

Postby TOMaHULK » Thu May 13, 2010 3:37 pm

Cool, feeling good at these letters now.

I'll say that I'm good to go with my 1 professor's and 2 upper management.

Feels good.




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