LOR's, but no Professors

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
mst
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LOR's, but no Professors

Postby mst » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:39 am

So I'm finalizing the list of people who would be able to write fantastic LOR's for me (an organizational adviser who works as an Assistant Director for Student Affairs department), and a CEO whom I interned for last summer. These two are pretty much set in stone, and I'm confident they will make good letters. However, I go to a t50 university that is HUGE. And by huge, I mean I haven't had a class within my major or department (with the exception of JUST ONE) over the last 3 years that wasn't either 500 people large or done by video-lecture. What this means is: I don't have any close relations with any real professors or teachers at my school. I'm a solid student with a 3.6 gpa and an awesome upward trend the last 2 years, but I just don't have any professors that I even know, much less have any that would be able to recommend me. The one's I do know are graduate students and are typically in b/s classes like Theater, etc. (Sorry theater folks).

Now, I'm approaching my senior year, and apps are rolling around this fall, and I just don't know what to do. How much will this hurt my application? The student affairs adviser might comment a bit on my great grades and work ethic, but simply put I don't have any academic references... and this isn't really fair because I just don't have that opportunity at my school and in my program through the first 3 years. Should I write an addendum for this? Do I whore myself out this semester and then if all goes well, turn a letter in during the Spring semester w/ my LOCI? Or do I just accept that they'll understand that my University doesn't necessarily have the environment conducive to academic LOR's for undergraduates? Am I screwed?

lawls
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby lawls » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:15 am

You need to find a way to get an academic reference. A graduate student is better than another professional reference, especially if the graduate student was in charge of evaluating your performance in the class. Sometimes a co-letter can also be written, where the Professor will sign off on what the graduate student writes (with both signing the letter).

I would suggest getting the best academic reference you can now, for your early application, and then gunning for a good reference that you can submit in December/January as an LOCI. A graduate student that knows you is better than a prof that doesn't.
Last edited by lawls on Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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MrKappus
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby MrKappus » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:31 am

One of the LOR's that accompanies your initial app must be from a professor. If one isn't, then yes, it will hurt you application.

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flyingpanda
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby flyingpanda » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:38 am

I did not get any academic LORs.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:40 am

flyingpanda wrote:I did not get any academic LORs.



do you think it hurt you? Also, what were your numbers? (sorry OP for hijacking..haha)

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flyingpanda
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby flyingpanda » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:40 am

crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:I did not get any academic LORs.



do you think it hurt you? Also, what were your numbers? (sorry OP for hijacking..haha)


I don't think it hurt me, but who knows. 2.99, 170, got into GULC PT and UVA ED.

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billyez
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby billyez » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:44 am

I just want to note that what I didn't hear in your post is that you've asked any teacher yet. They don't need to write you an outstanding letter of recommendation...it would just be nice if they gave you one.

You don't need to have a relationship with the Professor or anything. Just go to the ones you got an A in and ask them for letters. I did, but that's probably because I dind't have such a large class size as you did.

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entrechatsix
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby entrechatsix » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:52 am

i was in a similar situation to you when getting LORs. i'd suggest picking a class you made an a in and just asking the professor. if large classes are the norm at your school, they're probably used to this.
bring your resume/personal statement so they know something about you and a copy of a graded paper, essay exam, etc. so they can have something class specific to talk about.

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crumpetsandtea
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby crumpetsandtea » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 am

flyingpanda wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:I did not get any academic LORs.



do you think it hurt you? Also, what were your numbers? (sorry OP for hijacking..haha)


I don't think it hurt me, but who knows. 2.99, 170, got into GULC PT and UVA ED.



Damn...you're kind of my hero. Hahahah. I'd love to go to GULC or UVA. If you don't mind, I'm probably going to PM you about your app...it makes me hopeful that I'm not locked out of T25 forever :P
Last edited by crumpetsandtea on Sat Nov 05, 2011 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BigA
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby BigA » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:12 am

crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:I did not get any academic LORs.



do you think it hurt you? Also, what were your numbers? (sorry OP for hijacking..haha)


I don't think it hurt me, but who knows. 2.99, 170, got into GULC PT and UVA ED.



Damn...you're kind of my hero. Hahahah. I'm at 2.8/168, so not as solid of a splitter as you, but I'd love to go to GULC or UVA. If you don't mind, I'm probably going to PM you about your app...it makes me hopeful that I'm not locked out of T25 forever :P


you should be good at WUSTL at least

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calicocat
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby calicocat » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:13 am

crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:
crumpetsandtea wrote:
flyingpanda wrote:I did not get any academic LORs.



do you think it hurt you? Also, what were your numbers? (sorry OP for hijacking..haha)


I don't think it hurt me, but who knows. 2.99, 170, got into GULC PT and UVA ED.



Damn...you're kind of my hero. Hahahah. I'm at 2.8/168, so not as solid of a splitter as you, but I'd love to go to GULC or UVA. If you don't mind, I'm probably going to PM you about your app...it makes me hopeful that I'm not locked out of T25 forever :P

He's a virgin?

jetlagz28
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby jetlagz28 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:18 am

If you can't get any, than you cant get any. I second the opinion that send out what you have and this fall go to the office hours of your profs and TA's and try to send out a LOCI letter of ref from one of them after the semester.

Summer school classes maybe and do the same thing?

There is no point in worrying about it if there is little that you can do. I lol at some of the guilt trip posts on this thread.

mst
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby mst » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:00 pm

Thanks for the responses all. I don't agree with all of them, but I won't have control over adcom's thoughts either. So I guess any opinion on here is valuable, even if misguided or misinformed.

That said, I have to ask, with 2 strong LOR's from non-prof's, would it better to have a weak 3rd LOR from a professor as opposed to none?

crossingforHYS
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby crossingforHYS » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:37 pm

Take this for what you will, but the books on the market and admissions workshops will all tell you the same thing. You have to get at least 2 academic ref. unless you have been out of school for more then 5 years. Go take a class with a professor and try to get to know him/her during the summer, give them a dossier (hope I spelled that right) with your PS, the classes you have been in with that person, and maybe some of your work.

I don't know how accurate Ivy, Montague, and the writers of law school confidential ect. are, but I can tell you that they all say the same thing. But then again, you might have a great cycle who knows? I'm not an adcom..

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goawaybee
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Re: LOR's, but no Professors

Postby goawaybee » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:23 pm

I wouldn't drive yourself nuts over it. Student affairs adviser has to count for something. IMHO they ad comm wants to get to know a bit more about you from a different POV, those that have watched you work, move, grow, etc...provide them with that. I believe that if they are gonna put so much weight on UGPA/LSAT I don't think they are in need of that much more info, the numbers do the talking right.

I got stuck in the LOR loop and am doing my best to get it sorted. I finished UG in 04. Have some hefty gaps in my work history due to taking time off and caring for family etc...I was going to use 2 work related ones and the adm. people I talked with were fine with that. On a stretch I asked if they wanted the instructor for all the real estate courses I took and they didn't seem to interested, which surprised me since all the courses (165 hrs in total) basically consisted of reading over contracts, learning the rules/laws etc...seemingly much more relevant than some random classes I took in my early 20's. I have since decided to lean on the UG prof's I know and get it sorted out, Got to be a bit of a PITA pestering people. I don't even want to write my PS so who is really inspired to sit and write an LOR for someone. I figure the academics are used to the BS factor and playing the game, may as well throw it back on them. If they want more info I can give them 70 LOR's, hell I can bring all types of people in so they can have a group meeting if they'd like, charter a bus, get a catered lunch. Maybe have a bonfire and a live band.

as long as they speak to your strengths, who you are and what an asset you are then by all means let 'em rip. I would try and get one academic LOR just to show you are willing to play the game. I feel that is more what this is about anyway, this letter, that statement, CAS fee, etc...KEEP THE WHEEL GREASED FOLKS...as he shouts from atop his tree fort.




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