Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
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iwanta170
Posts: 445
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

Postby iwanta170 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:52 am

My first and second recommendations are from former professors. I am definitely submitting them.

The third recommendation is from a former supervisor (now retired) who worked with me (i was an intern) during the experience that I describe in my personal statement.

The fourth recommendation is the real question mark. The recommender has been my boss at my summer internship (homeland security) for 2 summers. He likes me a lot and has taken me out for lunch a few times. Some things he's said has me doubting the strength of the letter. He once said, "Did you say I should include this LOR form with my letter? I want to get this over with and send it out already." I'm not sure if that meant he wasn't going to put much effort into it. Another time he said that in the letter he talked about what I do on the job (which isn't much since i'm an intern, but whatever tasks they give me I always perform them efficiently). Another time I made a small mistake while on the job and he made a joke: "Get it together man! I just sent out a letter about you walking on water and now this!" I think he said he mentioned in the letter that he would hire me.

So some pro's and some potential con's about that fourth letter. Maybe he wrote just an average letter but he didn't want to admit it?

I'm not sure if I should send in the first 3 or send in all 4. What do you all think? Is it going to make a real difference in me getting into a school?

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Shooter
Posts: 474
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:39 am

Re: Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

Postby Shooter » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:08 pm

I really don't think LsOR make a big difference in the process. I could be wrong, but if you have the numbers to get into the schools you are applying to, other factors become a lot less important.

I think you are definitely good to go with the first three, and probably fine with all four.

vicuna
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

Postby vicuna » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:09 pm

I do think there is something to be said about components of your application complementing each other (i.e. your third letter and personal statement describing the same event).

However, I'm not sure I have enough information to gauge which of the two letters you should send and which you should save for waitlists. You know your employers better than we do. For what it's worth, I don't think that the latter employer's banter really means anything.

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iwanta170
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Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Re: Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

Postby iwanta170 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:19 pm

vicuna wrote:I do think there is something to be said about components of your application complementing each other (i.e. your third letter and personal statement describing the same event).

When you say there is something to be said, do you mean you think the 3rd LOR complementing my PS is a good thing or a bad thing?

vicuna
Posts: 208
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:54 pm

Re: Which of these 4 LOR should I send in?

Postby vicuna » Thu Oct 28, 2010 12:24 pm

iwanta170 wrote:
vicuna wrote:I do think there is something to be said about components of your application complementing each other (i.e. your third letter and personal statement describing the same event).

When you say there is something to be said, do you mean you think the 3rd LOR complementing my PS is a good thing or a bad thing?


I mean that I have heard adcomms stress the importance of having a cohesive application package. In theory, a third LOR complementing a well-written personal statement would be a good thing.

That said, we are talking about only small boosts in chances. Soft factors like letters of recommendation and essays really only serve to differentiate you from those with similar numbers. Don't think that having your third recommender corroborate the transformative experience described in your personal statement will magically turn a reach school into a target.




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