- LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION
- Introduction to letter of recommendation
- The significance of recommendation letters
- Effective and compelling recommendation letter.
- Points to remember before asking a recommendation
- The common attributes of applicants for LOR
- RECOMMENDERS OF LOR
- The “recommenders”
- The choice of selection of potential recommenders
- Who are the potential recommenders
- Who cannot be a recommender?
- LOR’s which create doubts in admissions committee's mind
- The common challenges faced in choosing the “right recommenders”
- CATEGORIES OF RECOMMENDATION LETTER
- LOR from professors
- LOR from clients/peers/colleagues/co-workers
- LOR from supervisors/employers
- LOR for applicants with international work experience
- LOR for non-traditional applicants
- LOR for an applicant’s community works
- LOR for higher/advanced degrees’ applicants
- LOR for specific reason
LETTERS Of RECOMMENDATION FROM PROFESSORS:
Most schools ask for a Letter of Recommendation from a full time professor, either from the undergraduate or graduate school/university from where the applicant earned his last degree. Ideally persons who have a rich teaching background with knowledge of the demands of the course the applicant is applying for, and the ability and desire to appraise the candidate, is the best choice.
To sum up, he should give an overall impression of the candidate which will help the admissions committee to know more about the candidate, from a third party whose opinions and justifications they can trust, when deciding on the candidate as a good fit, for the upcoming new school the candidate has applied for. This naturally follows an unbiased evaluation of the candidate, among many others, among his peers, co-workers etc., to arrive at a good judgment of him.
The author should be very specific to his experiences with the applicant, his strengths and attributes and always present the weaknesses as an opportunity to grow. This means he should highlight the candidature, by giving brief anecdotes about a specific strength. For example - a candidate good in science and technology, excelled well in a science fair and stood in second position in an intercollege meet, which demonstrates his analytical and critical thinking abilities. Always remember the four basic characteristics which today’s schools and universities want their students to exhibit, is that of Leadership, teamwork, maturity and innovation. The professor should surely try to include these qualities of the candidate, if he has demonstrated it. For example -being people friendly and having friends from different cultural backgrounds, shows that the candidate can be comfortable in a diverse set up, which is in itself a great quality to be talked about. His volunteer works or other interests should also be projected well in order to make him unique. One key area which should be attempted here is, if the candidate has an attitude to face adversity with grace and strength, this shows his maturity level, which makes his application a memorable one, apart from the above strengths.
Below is an example of a LOR from a Professor- Mr. Vikash Mehta, who has 20 years of teaching experience in Economics, in the Delhi University.
Candidate’s Details - Miss Seema Gupta.
Graduated in Economics from Delhi University,
Applying to Harvard Business School - Harvard University for an MBA degree.
I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for Seema Gupta, who was my student in Economics at the Delhi University in 2013. I have taught her for three years, in which I have seen Seema grow and mature from a shy person to an individual who has a mind of her own and has excellent communication skills.
In India, especially in Delhi University, where usually the toppers of the country get admissions, it’s difficult to make a mark for yourself. Seema, apart from her academic strengths also exuberated strong analytical and logical skills. She always secured a ninety percent in the Statistics paper of Economics. As part of her project work at the university, she did a study of the ‘Foreign Exchange Policy and Inflation, in India - the relationship’. This publication was accepted to be featured in the India Today magazine. Seema is a student, who is always willing to help others, be it in their academic or extracurricular activities. In one of her Project works she attempted to reach out to people Below Poverty Line (BPL) section, to know about them, their living conditions, their unemployment, the agriculture as their only means of livelihood, one should see it to believe, how swiftly with ease, Seema broke the barriers and reached out to the people, to know their concerns. She patiently listened to their grievances and the reactions of people against the present state of affairs. It is impeccably noted how well she can ease the people around her. I am very certain that without her dedication and motivation, this project wouldn’t have been a success.
Apart from these, I was appalled to see, Seema’s initiative and innovative ideas, outside the classroom, where she gathered a pool of deaf and dumb persons, and the specially gifted, to start a local delivery Centre. As an external advisor, I am involved with this organization from the last three years. The organization named ‘Sahaya’, which she coined first, then, has gone on to grow from a small 10 member team to a 50 employees organization, which now assists the huge e-commerce industry of digital India by supporting them with their logistics and supply chain with prompt delivery. This shows the altruistic nature of her personality. It revealed that she is also a great risk taker, who can reach heights with the benevolent nature of hers. Presently, Sahaya has also launched their own official website, where Seema widens her clientele, with a new promise to every parent, who feel disheartened for their special children. She makes ‘way’ for a bright future for ‘Special Young India’.
In my career here at Delhi University, I have seen hundreds of pupils, some from elite, wealthy backgrounds, some from affluent families but rarely have I found people like Seema, making a difference in people’s lives. I am doubly convinced that she would surely add value to the HBS classroom by her dynamic personality. I rarely write Letters of recommendations, but for Seema, it would be a feather to my cap, if I recommend her.
If you have any questions regarding her applications, please feel free to call me at (+91-XXXXXXXXXX).
Mr. Vikash Mehta,
HOD - Economics, DU.
PhD. In Economics from BHU.