Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

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Cicero, Fin. III 16
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Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Cicero, Fin. III 16 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:24 pm

I've taken classes with two professors who've earned their PhD's from my top school. One actually did his undergraduate and master's work there, too. However, in his case, I only took one class with him - but I earned an A.

Would their letters, assuming they're written out of average enthusiasm, hold more weight than other professors who I could ask? It's not like I would be bypassing professors who would have great things to say about me.

I'm thinking the benefit will come more from the professors agreeing to write the letters rather than on the law school end. After all I want these professors to write letters that could be sent to any school; so, I doubt they would highlight their experience at this particular institution.

Apologies if it sounds like I'm only thinking out loud. It's still early in the process for me (Fall '12 applicant).

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Kikero
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Kikero » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:38 pm

It might make your professor(s) more enthusiastic in writing LORs. When I told my adviser that I was applying to Northwestern (where he got his PhD) he seemed genuinely interested and after he wrote me the LOR he would occasionally ask if I'd heard back from the school (of course he was also just a great guy, so it might have just been that).

Edit: Also, nice username.
Last edited by Kikero on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Cicero, Fin. III 16
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Cicero, Fin. III 16 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:41 pm

Kikero wrote:It might make your professor(s) more enthusiastic in writing LORs. When I told my adviser that I was applying to Northwestern (where he got his PhD) he seemed genuinely interested and after he wrote me the LOR he would occasionally ask if I'd heard back from the school (of course he was also just a great guy, so it might have just been that).


Thanks for weighing in, Kikero :-)

I'm concerned I haven't put myself out there enough to deserve LORs from anybody. Do you think if I send along writing samples, remind them of my grade, and share a story from the class, I should be OK?

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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Crowing » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:44 pm

Cicero, Fin. III 16 wrote:
Kikero wrote:It might make your professor(s) more enthusiastic in writing LORs. When I told my adviser that I was applying to Northwestern (where he got his PhD) he seemed genuinely interested and after he wrote me the LOR he would occasionally ask if I'd heard back from the school (of course he was also just a great guy, so it might have just been that).


Thanks for weighing in, Kikero :-)

I'm concerned I haven't put myself out there enough to deserve LORs from anybody. Do you think if I send along writing samples, remind them of my grade, and share a story from the class, I should be OK?


It's definitely a good idea to provide extra information to your professors to help them write their LoRs. Send them your resume, and maybe some of the work you did in the class if they don't have it on file.

bp shinners
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby bp shinners » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:33 pm

Crowing wrote:It's definitely a good idea to provide extra information to your professors to help them write their LoRs. Send them your resume, and definitely some of the work you did in the class if they don't have it on file.


Fixed that a bit ;-). You should also bring your personal statement if it's written (or a draft) and a cover letter discussing some things you remember from his class (to prime him to write about qualities you want him to speak on - such as, "I remember engaging in many stimulating debates" if you want him to talk about your participation in class).

To OP - don't feel that you haven't 'earned' or you don't 'deserve' an LoR from a professor. If you showed up to his/her class and earned a good grade, you deserve an LoR. They're supposed to evaluate you from a teacher's position, so the schools have a first-hand account (outside of your GPA) about what type of student you are. Any professor can speak to that.

You won't really get a boost from a professor who graduated from your top choice school, but they'll probably be a little more enthusiastic about writing the letter. That enthusiasm will work to your advantage.

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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby theadvancededit » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:52 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Crowing wrote:It's definitely a good idea to provide extra information to your professors to help them write their LoRs. Send them your resume, and definitely some of the work you did in the class if they don't have it on file.


Fixed that a bit ;-).


It is also helpful to show them a draft of your personal statement. It will help them write your LoR and, if your professors are cool, they may give you some good advice your statement as well.

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Cicero, Fin. III 16
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Cicero, Fin. III 16 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:50 pm

bp shinners wrote:To OP - don't feel that you haven't 'earned' or you don't 'deserve' an LoR from a professor. If you showed up to his/her class and earned a good grade, you deserve an LoR. They're supposed to evaluate you from a teacher's position, so the schools have a first-hand account (outside of your GPA) about what type of student you are. Any professor can speak to that.


I assume it would be unreasonable to expect the professor to remember my marks. If I've kept my exams handy would it be fair to remind them of my grades and cumulative grade in the class?

Thanks

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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby bp shinners » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:26 pm

Cicero, Fin. III 16 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:To OP - don't feel that you haven't 'earned' or you don't 'deserve' an LoR from a professor. If you showed up to his/her class and earned a good grade, you deserve an LoR. They're supposed to evaluate you from a teacher's position, so the schools have a first-hand account (outside of your GPA) about what type of student you are. Any professor can speak to that.


I assume it would be unreasonable to expect the professor to remember my marks. If I've kept my exams handy would it be fair to remind them of my grades and cumulative grade in the class?

Thanks


They probably have a record of what you received in their class. They'll also most likely ask you that question when you go to meet them to request the LoR (because you're planning to do it face-to-face, right?). I'd include it in any correspondence just so they don't have to remember.

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Cicero, Fin. III 16
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby Cicero, Fin. III 16 » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:55 pm

bp shinners wrote:
Cicero, Fin. III 16 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:To OP - don't feel that you haven't 'earned' or you don't 'deserve' an LoR from a professor. If you showed up to his/her class and earned a good grade, you deserve an LoR. They're supposed to evaluate you from a teacher's position, so the schools have a first-hand account (outside of your GPA) about what type of student you are. Any professor can speak to that.


I assume it would be unreasonable to expect the professor to remember my marks. If I've kept my exams handy would it be fair to remind them of my grades and cumulative grade in the class?

Thanks


They probably have a record of what you received in their class. They'll also most likely ask you that question when you go to meet them to request the LoR (because you're planning to do it face-to-face, right?). I'd include it in any correspondence just so they don't have to remember.


I'd like to do it over email for a few reasons, chief among them that I want the letters in ASAP. So, I'd like to warn them in late August that it would be nice to have them submitted by mid-September. This way, if they're a little late, I can still apply by October 1.

bp shinners
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Re: Two profs. who earned PhD from my #1 school. LOR?

Postby bp shinners » Fri Feb 24, 2012 1:34 pm

Cicero, Fin. III 16 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:
Cicero, Fin. III 16 wrote:
bp shinners wrote:To OP - don't feel that you haven't 'earned' or you don't 'deserve' an LoR from a professor. If you showed up to his/her class and earned a good grade, you deserve an LoR. They're supposed to evaluate you from a teacher's position, so the schools have a first-hand account (outside of your GPA) about what type of student you are. Any professor can speak to that.


I assume it would be unreasonable to expect the professor to remember my marks. If I've kept my exams handy would it be fair to remind them of my grades and cumulative grade in the class?

Thanks


They probably have a record of what you received in their class. They'll also most likely ask you that question when you go to meet them to request the LoR (because you're planning to do it face-to-face, right?). I'd include it in any correspondence just so they don't have to remember.


I'd like to do it over email for a few reasons, chief among them that I want the letters in ASAP. So, I'd like to warn them in late August that it would be nice to have them submitted by mid-September. This way, if they're a little late, I can still apply by October 1.


If you want them submitted by mid-September, you should ask for them much sooner than late August. The sooner the better, in fact. If you have already completed the courses with them, go ask them now. Professors can be notoriously slow at writing LoRs, and many will lead you to believe they're farther along in the process than they actually are. Always add about 2 months onto what you think is a reasonable time frame for getting them in - you probably won't need that long, but you might.

This also gives you time to go speak with them in person. Believe me, the professor will view it as more urgent if you take the time to show up in person than if you e-mail them. A face-to-face meeting will almost always yield better results in the LoR process.




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