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kenright
October 22nd, 2012, 14:48
Hey all! I'm new here (and not actually applying this year, I'm taking an extra year to earn an M.Sc.), and from the US.

Anyways, considering that this year's application requires a LoR from someone associated with the University if you haven't graduated, I expect that next years will as well. My question is this: what should I really be looking for in a LoR? I mean, I'm a physics major and the professors I am most likely to develop some sort of working relationship with over the next year are most likely to be my future research director...

I can get a work-ethic (and the like) based letter from my boss, but what should I be looking for with regards to my university professors? Academic ability? Adaptability? Creativity?

I've researched a bit about letters of rec from professors (oh god grad school), but am kind of lost as to what I should eventually be asking for. Would love some advice on the matter!

dialogue
October 22nd, 2012, 15:07
ideally you want letters from folks who can attest to your character in a positive manner. professors are busy folks; bring it up early and direct them to the jet website so they can read about the program.

there is also a thread about this on the jet forums.

kenright
October 22nd, 2012, 15:22
That's useful advice. My professors are either lazy alcoholic bastards or so interminably busy that I never get to speak to them.

And yeah, I looked at the official JET forums, but that place is a bit of a circle jerk. Not that any place isn't, but I feel like there's a fair bit more pretense over there.

dialogue
October 22nd, 2012, 15:53
i ain`t saying join it; use it for what you need and move on. just make sure the people you pick can write something detailed about YOU, make you stand out, not something vague that could be used for anybody.

my two letters were from professors; one was my guide for an independent study project that took a year, and the other was my archaeology director that supervised a dig we went on. both were able to talk about me in a professional light, and also in a personal light, and argue my case for me. they also both made sure to read about the jet program so they knew what to write about that.

flamingpriest
October 23rd, 2012, 02:28
I found this within about a minute of looking for it on the US JET site:

"The most helpful reference letter will include (1) your relationship to the applicant, (2) the length of time you have known the applicant, and (3) your evaluation of the applicant's ability to adapt to other cultures and to work effectively with others. Information on the quality of the applicant's work and his or her career aspirations as they relate to the JET Program will also be helpful."

jwkelley
October 27th, 2012, 01:13
If you can get letters related to study a broads or working with kids it will help a lot.

armouredghost
October 27th, 2012, 04:59
Yay this is my first post after being a lurker forever!!!! But yes I am receiving two letters of recommendation from past Japanese professors. One who has taught me since I was in high-school and is very well know. This person was very influential in my life and is the main reason I am considering being an ALT. Is it bad that I mention them in my SOP and then that they are writing a recommendation for me?