Unique Letters of Rec Question

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
tittsburghfeelers
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Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:21 pm

I kind of have a unique situation regarding future letters of recommendation. A majority of the classes that I've taken have been online, as I have worked "full" time through college. And no, my UG isn't from somewhere like University of Phoenix or anything like that, it's a normal, well respected liberal arts university that just happens to offer quite a few online classes. I normally take about alf online/half on-campus classes each semester, and I'm not really close to any of my professors. Lastly, by "full" time work, I've worked at a construction company owned by my family. Some weeks I work over 40 hours, other weeks I only work a few hours, depending on how much homework I have and how much work the company has.

With all that being said, who should I ask for letters of recommendation from? I've worked for the company for seven years but I've mainly worked with family members. Is a letter of recommendation from a family member frowned upon by admissions panels? Should I request a letter of recommendation from a professor that I'm not necessarily "close" with?

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Knock
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Knock » Fri Apr 15, 2011 5:21 pm

tittsburghfeelers wrote:I kind of have a unique situation regarding future letters of recommendation. A majority of the classes that I've taken have been online, as I have worked "full" time through college. And no, my UG isn't from somewhere like University of Phoenix or anything like that, it's a normal, well respected liberal arts university that just happens to offer quite a few online classes. I normally take about alf online/half on-campus classes each semester, and I'm not really close to any of my professors. Lastly, by "full" time work, I've worked at a construction company owned by my family. Some weeks I work over 40 hours, other weeks I only work a few hours, depending on how much homework I have and how much work the company has.

With all that being said, who should I ask for letters of recommendation from? I've worked for the company for seven years but I've mainly worked with family members. Is a letter of recommendation from a family member frowned upon by admissions panels? Should I request a letter of recommendation from a professor that I'm not necessarily "close" with?


How many years have you been out of undergrad? If only a few years, you really should get at least 1 professor, even if you aren't necessarily close with them. If you've been out 7 years (couldn't tell from your post if you worked at the company during undergrad), then you are fine getting non-academic LORs.

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Dany
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Dany » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:16 am

Do not get a letter from anyone related to you. Ask professors and provide them with a resume and work you did in their classes so they'll have something to talk about.

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Pleasye
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Pleasye » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:21 am

Dany wrote:Do not get a letter from anyone related to you. Ask professors and provide them with a resume and work you did in their classes so they'll have something to talk about.

This. Writing letters of recommendation is part of a professors job and many will be happy to do it if you can remind them of who you are (or at least, what grade you got in their class). You can provide them with enough information about yourself (resume, transcript, draft of personal statement) that it doesn't really matter whether they remember you or not. It's not an ideal situation, but it's doable and much better than getting a letter from someone in your family.

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BlakcMajikc
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby BlakcMajikc » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:25 am

I'm guessing Webster University, but thats just a guess.

Do you volunteer? You can get a LOR from whoever or wherever you do community service.

Dany wrote:Do not get a letter from anyone related to you. Ask professors and provide them with a resume and work you did in their classes so they'll have something to talk about.


+1
You can even include a small "cover letter" type personal summary in your email to the professor.

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Dany
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Dany » Sat Apr 16, 2011 1:30 am

Cover letter is a great idea, and if the profs don't know you really well they will certainly appreciate it.

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Xifeng
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Xifeng » Sat Apr 16, 2011 3:06 pm

Dany wrote:Cover letter is a great idea, and if the profs don't know you really well they will certainly appreciate it.


+1

Definitely schedule a meeting to talk to them about it and give them the opportunity to ask questions. I would say you need at least one academic letter. I wasn't super close with my LOR writers, and it worked out for me!

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law4vus
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby law4vus » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:42 pm

Xifeng wrote:
Dany wrote:Cover letter is a great idea, and if the profs don't know you really well they will certainly appreciate it.


+1

Definitely schedule a meeting to talk to them about it and give them the opportunity to ask questions. I would say you need at least one academic letter. I wasn't super close with my LOR writers, and it worked out for me!


+1

I was very close with one of my letter writers and not very with my second one. She was willing to sit with me for an hour in her office just asking me pretty much about my entire academic experience at my school and ended up writing a very good LOR for me.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:57 pm

No not Webster University lol, I've never even heard of that.

And I'm still in UG and still working for the same company. I've worked there since the summer after my freshman year of high school.

And good, it's reassuring that other people had the same situation. I just kind of feel like it might be a little awkard to ask a professor that I'm not very close with to write a LOR for me.

Anyway, thanks for the replies and advice, I'll definitely put it to good use.

tittsburghfeelers
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby tittsburghfeelers » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:09 am

Kind of as a follow up.....

What about getting an LOR from a subcontractor that I'm not related to, nor work directly underneath, yet often work alongside? He's known me since I started working for the company and works on every house/project that we do that requires his line of subcontracting work.

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Dany
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby Dany » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:12 am

tittsburghfeelers wrote:Kind of as a follow up.....

What about getting an LOR from a subcontractor that I'm not related to, nor work directly underneath, yet often work alongside? He's known me since I started working for the company and works on every house/project that we do that requires his line of subcontracting work.

A letter from a coworker doesn't seem like a good idea. You need a supervisor, boss, professor, etc. This will seem too much like a friend, as opposed to someone in a position of authority.

flexityflex86
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Re: Unique Letters of Rec Question

Postby flexityflex86 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:43 am

Dany wrote:
tittsburghfeelers wrote:Kind of as a follow up.....

What about getting an LOR from a subcontractor that I'm not related to, nor work directly underneath, yet often work alongside? He's known me since I started working for the company and works on every house/project that we do that requires his line of subcontracting work.

A letter from a coworker doesn't seem like a good idea. You need a supervisor, boss, professor, etc. This will seem too much like a friend, as opposed to someone in a position of authority.

+1

A lot of my classes were with TA's who did all of the grading and the smaller more intimate (insert immature joke here) recitations, where as the professor just lectured and wrote the tests. Many of these graders were very close in my age, and upon contacting them out of class for an LOR spoke like a bro. I made sure not to have more than one of them. I think a coworker would be a bad idea, because coworker relationships are all about personalities, and don't mean you were a good employee, etc.




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