LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
alleg2010
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LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby alleg2010 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:34 am

Curious to see if anyone might have some thoughts on this...

I know you would traditionally submit a letter from your boss, but I'm thinking of asking for a recommendation from a co-worker rather than my actual supervisor.

I've worked with her more closely than anyone else in my department, so I think she's probably the most qualified to speak on my writing abilities, work ethic, etc. Plus, having started with the organization as an intern, I still tend to think of my older colleagues as mentors even though I've since moved into an actual staff position.

I'm just not sure if this would be considered kosher now that we hold basically the same title.

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mrtoren
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby mrtoren » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:07 pm

I wouldn't even consider doing that. Almost everyone is closer with their co-workers than their bosses and its for that very reason that you don't get a letter from them. Your boss may not know your work as intimately as your co-workers, but s/he will write a more objective letter.

shoeshine
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby shoeshine » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:09 pm

Academic LOR >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Business/Professional LOR

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MrPapagiorgio
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby MrPapagiorgio » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:14 pm

Enough with the LOR questions for the last couple of days. They hardly ever matter, and will almost never make the difference between acceptance and rejection. Everybody knows what LORs are going to say. LORs are just a ploy to make it seem like law schools care about other things than just your GPA and LSAT. Just get something from someone that says how great you are and what a great addition you will make to the law school because of your motivation, diligence, tenacity for knowledge and community-oriented outlook. And make sure the letters are from a superior (i.e. supervisor/professor)

--ImageRemoved--

071816
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 071816 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:18 pm

I think it depends on how long you've been out of school, where you work, and the specific position you and the recommender hold within the company.

But generally speaking, I would recommend that you get a LOR from a professor or superior at work.

alleg2010
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby alleg2010 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:04 pm

There's no need to be rude or snarky. If you don't have anything constructive to say on a given topic, then don't respond. And if you hate questions on letters of recommendation, then don't read them. It's as simple as that.

To those who actually provided feedback: thank you.

I am a little over a year out of school and will have 2 or 3 LORs from former professors. But, given that I will be 2 years out by the time I would enter the program, I think it will also be important to have a recommendation from someone who can vouch for the work I've done since graduation.

To clarify:

Our work is campaign-related, and I started with the organization as an intern. I'm now in an actual position, but I'm still the youngest person on the entire staff. My would-be recommender is much older and is widely regarded as an expert in our field. So, while she's not my direct supervisor, I felt that it might not be entirely inappropriate given her massive experience and reputation as a leader on our issues.

071816
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 071816 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:34 pm

Some people might disagree with me, but I say go for it. That is, unless you can get one from someone who is higher up within the organization who also knows you and your work well.

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:38 pm

It's a case-by-case judgement call. Obviously you know that a supervisor is preferable to co-worker of equal rank or you wouldn't have started the thread. But I can see scenarios where the co-worker's LOR would be appropriate.

4910
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 4910 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 2:53 am

are you serious you clown? you don't have enough common sense to figure out by yourself that you should not be getting one from your colleague? you might as well get one from your bff if you can.

the lack of basic intuition on this forum never ceases to amaze me. you think you will get an upperhand in the process by getting an awesome review from your colleague but you will only end up getting the face palm reaction from adcomms. serious, if you've been working in the real world you should know better.

071816
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 071816 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 3:13 am

4910 wrote:are you serious you clown? you don't have enough common sense to figure out by yourself that you should not be getting one from your colleague? you might as well get one from your bff if you can.

the lack of basic intuition on this forum never ceases to amaze me. you think you will get an upperhand in the process by getting an awesome review from your colleague but you will only end up getting the face palm reaction from adcomms. serious, if you've been working in the real world you should know better.


Image

alleg2010
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby alleg2010 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:04 am

4910 wrote:are you serious you clown? you don't have enough common sense to figure out by yourself that you should not be getting one from your colleague? you might as well get one from your bff if you can.

the lack of basic intuition on this forum never ceases to amaze me. you think you will get an upperhand in the process by getting an awesome review from your colleague but you will only end up getting the face palm reaction from adcomms. serious, if you've been working in the real world you should know better.


I asked a legitimate question.

Yes, we report to the same boss.

But I am 23 and she is in her mid-60s. She has run hundreds of campaigns and is considered an expert on our issues, whereas I am a recent college grad and have only been on the job for a little over a year. I started as an intern and she has been a mentor and guide, albeit not technically a supervisor.

To read some of these responses, you would think that I was talking about having a drinking buddy from work write my letter. That's clearly not what I meant.

Drop the attitude.

071816
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 071816 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:10 am

If I had a dollar for each time 4910 used the word "clown" in his/her posts I would have quite a few dollars.

4910
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 4910 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:34 pm

thanks for the private message you clown. her age and her position as a mentor does not change the fact that her position is still equal to you in the work environment. this has nothing to do with me being an internet tough guy as you say, it is just me mocking you because you seem to be trying to convince yourself that it is a good decision to use her lor. an lor is a place to be safe, not a place to go for gold.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:42 pm

4910 wrote:thanks for the private message you clown. her age and her position as a mentor does not change the fact that her position is still equal to you in the work environment. this has nothing to do with me being an internet tough guy as you say, it is just me mocking you because you seem to be trying to convince yourself that it is a good decision to use her lor. an lor is a place to be safe, not a place to go for gold.

If you're not going for gold all the time, you're doing it wrong.

HTH

071816
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 071816 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:42 pm

4910 wrote:thanks for the private message you clown. her age and her position as a mentor does not change the fact that her position is still equal to you in the work environment. this has nothing to do with me being an internet tough guy as you say, it is just me mocking you because you seem to be trying to convince yourself that it is a good decision to use her lor. an lor is a place to be safe, not a place to go for gold.


Here we fucking go again.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:47 pm

chimp wrote:
4910 wrote:thanks for the private message you clown. her age and her position as a mentor does not change the fact that her position is still equal to you in the work environment. this has nothing to do with me being an internet tough guy as you say, it is just me mocking you because you seem to be trying to convince yourself that it is a good decision to use her lor. an lor is a place to be safe, not a place to go for gold.


Here we fucking go again.

Make it gold:
Image

4910
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 4910 » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:48 pm

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
4910 wrote:thanks for the private message you clown. her age and her position as a mentor does not change the fact that her position is still equal to you in the work environment. this has nothing to do with me being an internet tough guy as you say, it is just me mocking you because you seem to be trying to convince yourself that it is a good decision to use her lor. an lor is a place to be safe, not a place to go for gold.

If you're not going for gold all the time, you're doing it wrong.

HTH


you went for gold and you could only achieve boalt with its 167 median LSAT?

AppsAbound
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby AppsAbound » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:57 pm

you went for gold and you could only achieve boalt with its 167 median LSAT?


OP please ignore this person with mediocre social skills hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

Isn't there a moderator to ban this person?

OP, if it's evident by this person's title that she is a co-worker and not a supervisor, I would not use her. However, if she in some way supervises your work, and has a different (more superior) title, it might be appropriate. But earlier posters are correct, your work is reviewed differently by a co-worker than a supervisor, so while some intimate knowledge of your work won't be assessed by a supervisor, it's a safer move. If I came across a candidate who appeared to have avoided getting a letter from a boss, I would assume they had something to hide.

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:59 pm

AppsAbound wrote:
you went for gold and you could only achieve boalt with its 167 median LSAT?


OP please ignore this person with mediocre social skills hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

Isn't there a moderator to ban this person?

OP, if it's evident by this person's title that she is a co-worker and not a supervisor, I would not use her. However, if she in some way supervises your work, and has a different (more superior) title, it might be appropriate. But earlier posters are correct, your work is reviewed differently by a co-worker than a supervisor, so while some intimate knowledge of your work won't be assessed by a supervisor, it's a safer move. If I came across a candidate who appeared to have avoided getting a letter from a boss, I would assume they had something to hide.

TITCR.

I was wondering the same thing--does she have a different title than you? That would really help.

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2014
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby 2014 » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:09 am

An Amazing/Memorable letter from a co-worker will have a more meaningful impact than a positive yet forgettable letter from a supervisor. Obviously the ideal situation is to have a great supervisor letter but given your choices I'd go with the co-worker and not think twice about it.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby Bildungsroman » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:09 am

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
AppsAbound wrote:
you went for gold and you could only achieve boalt with its 167 median LSAT?


OP please ignore this person with mediocre social skills hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

Isn't there a moderator to ban this person?

OP, if it's evident by this person's title that she is a co-worker and not a supervisor, I would not use her. However, if she in some way supervises your work, and has a different (more superior) title, it might be appropriate. But earlier posters are correct, your work is reviewed differently by a co-worker than a supervisor, so while some intimate knowledge of your work won't be assessed by a supervisor, it's a safer move. If I came across a candidate who appeared to have avoided getting a letter from a boss, I would assume they had something to hide.

TITCR.

I was wondering the same thing--does she have a different title than you? That would really help.

I don't think title is the important point at all. The tone of an LOR from a coworker is completely different from that of an LOR from a supervisor, and not in a good way. While a supervisor can talk about entrusting you with more responsibilities and more difficult work because their role is supervisory and evaluative, a coworker can't say the same. A supervisor is coming from the same position as a law school: attempting to gauge whether you're up to the standards they require, whether you can handle the hard work they'll give you, whether you interact well with your peers (from a more objective observer), etc. A work LOR can be so valuable because a law school is hearing from someone who has a lot of experience identifying talent, from someone who has to deal with you if you fuck up (unlike a professor LOR) and who has the position to lend credence to their account and to their judgement. A coworker may have some good things to say about you, but theirs is not the perspective a law school wants.

I mean, would you ever consider submitting a LOR from a classmate instead of from a professor?

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BackToTheOldHouse
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby BackToTheOldHouse » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:17 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
BackToTheOldHouse wrote:
AppsAbound wrote:
you went for gold and you could only achieve boalt with its 167 median LSAT?


OP please ignore this person with mediocre social skills hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.

Isn't there a moderator to ban this person?

OP, if it's evident by this person's title that she is a co-worker and not a supervisor, I would not use her. However, if she in some way supervises your work, and has a different (more superior) title, it might be appropriate. But earlier posters are correct, your work is reviewed differently by a co-worker than a supervisor, so while some intimate knowledge of your work won't be assessed by a supervisor, it's a safer move. If I came across a candidate who appeared to have avoided getting a letter from a boss, I would assume they had something to hide.

TITCR.

I was wondering the same thing--does she have a different title than you? That would really help.

I don't think title is the important point at all. The tone of an LOR from a coworker is completely different from that of an LOR from a supervisor, and not in a good way. While a supervisor can talk about entrusting you with more responsibilities and more difficult work because their role is supervisory and evaluative, a coworker can't say the same. A supervisor is coming from the same position as a law school: attempting to gauge whether you're up to the standards they require, whether you can handle the hard work they'll give you, whether you interact well with your peers (from a more objective observer), etc. A work LOR can be so valuable because a law school is hearing from someone who has a lot of experience identifying talent, from someone who has to deal with you if you fuck up (unlike a professor LOR) and who has the position to lend credence to their account and to their judgement. A coworker may have some good things to say about you, but theirs is not the perspective a law school wants.

I mean, would you ever consider submitting a LOR from a classmate instead of from a professor?

The question you pose at the end of your post gets at what is probably most crucial. You seem to see all coworkers as being completely equal (all students in a room are seen as being equal). Workplace settings are not always so clear cut (someone you work with that is not your superior might not be exactly equal to you).

A coworker that does the exact some shit as you should not right an LOR for you. A coworker with a different title than you, and who does different work than you, and has seen you perform your job at a high level and can speak honestly about your abilities, might be someone who could right an LOR for you.

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Bildungsroman
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Re: LOR from Colleague Rather than Supervisor?

Postby Bildungsroman » Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:20 am

BackToTheOldHouse wrote:The question you pose at the end of your post gets at what is probably most crucial. You seem to see all coworkers as being completely equal (all students in a room are seen as being equal). Workplace settings are not always so clear cut (someone you work with that is not your superior might not be exactly equal to you).

A coworker that does the exact some shit as you should not right an LOR for you. A coworker with a different title than you, and who does different work than you, and has seen you perform your job at a high level and can speak honestly about your abilities, might be someone who could right an LOR for you.

Not saying that all coworkers are equal, just that the enormous gulf between someone who does supervise you and someone who doesn't is defined by a difference in most all of the characteristics that make someone a valuable recommender.




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