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RavenParadox
September 3rd, 2015, 14:01
Hi Guys! I've gone through the forum and seen this particular subject addressed in a few ways, but I have what I might consider a unique referral that I want to use (in how he is related to me). If I may explain why:

This man I want to use for my reference letter is someone I know from a religious aspect, but he's also an English Professor at a junior college that I attended (and one of the main courses that he teaches is Speech/Public Speaking; big plus!), but I never actually took any of his courses . . . He is a part of the congregation I grew up in and he was the congregation's official conductor of Sunday Q&As, and for the time that I was in the congregation he was also the Treasurer. Over the course of the 17 years I've known him (since I was about 10), he has seen me perform many public speeches in the congregation Ministry School (though he wasn't the "Ministry School Conductor") and because of his profession he has what I would consider a good eye for evaluating my skills as a public speaker. He knows how often I prepared for and participated in the Q&As that he did conduct; and he knows how I interact with people, but especially those younger than me (school age, basically). While he does hold a certain position of authority in the congregation, I am 99% positive that he won't put that position in the reference form. That then puts into perspective what kind of relationship he has to me as an applicant. He can certainly put that he's a professor in a college, but aside from our relationship in the congregation, there isn't an actual professor-to-student relationship. He's also known my interest in the Japanese culture for over a decade, and he in fact has a Japanese aunt, so he himself, although American, is very familiar with and fond of the Japanese culture. Basically, I know that given the opportunity, he would write me a glittering letter because he knows my desires, my growth, and my interest in the culture.

TL;DR: The person I would like to use as a reference is a English Professor that I've known for nearly two decades and has seen my abilities and growth as a public speaker and in other areas, but in a more religious aspect at my local congregation. However, most importantly, I have never taken his college courses.

So my question is, Can he be considered a valid reference? Or is it just too complicated to even consider? Since I graduated uni about 4 years ago and my degree has nothing to do with Japanese Culture or Teaching, I'm rather hesitant to actually reach out to my actual college professors (also I'm afraid that I might disappoint them, as quite a few of them wanted me to earn my Masters Degree in Design, but that's neither here nor there). So . . . any thoughts on this?

Ini
September 3rd, 2015, 14:32
I'd say go for it but I never put too much stock in these silly rules about references. I basically ignored them and sent in the most impressive ones I had regardless of what the application said. Saying that I applied donkeys years ago so I dont know if they have tighten up the rules in the last decade or so.

Frap
September 3rd, 2015, 14:36
If you studied design, why on Earth did you make the font grey when the background is also grey?! Had to reyt squint.

I'd say use it! He doesn't have to include the fact you didn't take any of his courses, does he?

RavenParadox
September 3rd, 2015, 14:46
If you studied design, why on Earth did you make the font grey when the background is also grey?! Had to reyt squint.

I'd say use it! He doesn't have to include the fact you didn't take any of his courses, does he?

Aha, I'm sorry, Frap! I thought the grey was only like a 85% opacity, so I didn't think it looked too light :x! I'll keep at black from now on! But thanks for your input regarding my question - I suppose he doesn't have to include that fact. I mean, what are the chances that the reader might find some discrepancy in his reference letter and actually call or email and ask him for more detailed information? So far I've not seen in these forum posts that they do that often, so I'm'a hopin'.

RavenParadox
September 3rd, 2015, 14:48
I'd say go for it but I never put too much stock in these silly rules about references. I basically ignored them and sent in the most impressive ones I had regardless of what the application said. Saying that I applied donkeys years ago so I dont know if they have tighten up the rules in the last decade or so.

Hm, hm, two for two. I may be over-thinking this, I guess. Looks like I'm gonna be giving him a ring or email him soon. Thanks for your input ;>

Jiggit
September 3rd, 2015, 14:54
Hmm, I'd say it's less than ideal. That he's an English professor is not really related to how he knows you. It'd be a bit like me sending a reference from my mum; she's an English teacher and a Headteacher, but she can't really speak fairly to my abilities. Even though I daresay she knows them better than most.

They may of course not notice or care, but I'd rather it be from someone who you actually worked for in an academic or professional relationship.

Frap
September 3rd, 2015, 15:01
she's an English teacher and a Headteacher.

I've never been more attracted to you.

RavenParadox
September 3rd, 2015, 15:09
Hmm, I'd say it's less than ideal. That he's an English professor is not really related to how he knows you. It'd be a bit like me sending a reference from my mum; she's an English teacher and a Headteacher, but she can't really speak fairly to my abilities. Even though I daresay she knows them better than most.

They may of course not notice or care, but I'd rather it be from someone who you actually worked for in an academic or professional relationship.

Hmm, duly noted. While I would love it if it were a totally okay reference, it's best to get all kinds of opinions. The fact that I'm even asking shows that I have reserves about it so I appreciate your opinion. I guess it really would have helped if I'd had just taken one of his classes (¯―¯٥).