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Thread: Letter of Recommendation Question

  1. #1
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    Default Letter of Recommendation Question

    Hey everyone,

    I have a question about letters of recommendation. I have already asked a professor to write one, but am concerned about the other. Last year, while studying abroad in Japan, I interned for someone currently in the JET program. I had been planning on asking this person for a letter of recommendation due to the fact that I was told that among the interns he had had, I had been the best (I don't mean this in a bragging sense; I just mean that he would likely write me a good letter). However, I recently read something that led me to believe that it would be a bad idea to ask a current JET for a recommendation.

    Alternatively, I spent this past summer interning at a center for adults with mental disabilities. Would it be better to ask for a letter of recommendation from my boss during that time? I am certain that she would also write me a good letter of recommendation. However, I had been previously leaning toward asking the JET because the experience was so directly applicable. I would love to hear any advice about this, thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member asilverthread's Avatar
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    Default Re: Letter of Recommendation Question

    I can't help you on the JET writing a letter. Honestly I would aim for someone who has known for a while and can a strong professional letter. Honestly go ahead and ask both to write you letter. Sure you'll have three letters, but you can always choose later which one you want to send off. It's better to go ahead and have your options full instead of waiting. The deadline is coming up.

  3. #3

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    I would also say to ask both. You can always make the call later. And that way if one of them doesn't come through in time you have a backup. But yes, you better get on it. You don't want to be so close to the wire that you end up bothering them constantly. Y don't want the people who have a say in your acceptance to feel rushed or annoyed. ^_^

    On a related note, I've asked multiple people to write letters of reference. My Japanese tutor has known me and taught me for three years, knows my work ethic and my interest in Japan. I'm definitely using her. I'm trying to decide on the other letter. One is from my boss, who has known me for over 4 years and can vouch for my dependability and adaptability. Downside: I work in a restaurant. Nooooot the most relevant job but it pays the bills. The other reference is my graduate advisor (ESL Education). She tells me all the time how far I've come since I first walked into her office to ask about the program in April. It's also SUPER relevant. Downside: only known her since April (obviously). Thoughts?
    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    Since when does awareness of surrounding make an ALT better? Chances are if they didn't have a clue and got lost in the forest and eaten by bears on the way to work, the school would be better off and the ALT would in turn be a better ALT.

  4. #4
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterofpeace View Post
    I would also say to ask both. You can always make the call later. And that way if one of them doesn't come through in time you have a backup. But yes, you better get on it. You don't want to be so close to the wire that you end up bothering them constantly. Y don't want the people who have a say in your acceptance to feel rushed or annoyed. ^_^

    On a related note, I've asked multiple people to write letters of reference. My Japanese tutor has known me and taught me for three years, knows my work ethic and my interest in Japan. I'm definitely using her. I'm trying to decide on the other letter. One is from my boss, who has known me for over 4 years and can vouch for my dependability and adaptability. Downside: I work in a restaurant. Nooooot the most relevant job but it pays the bills. The other reference is my graduate advisor (ESL Education). She tells me all the time how far I've come since I first walked into her office to ask about the program in April. It's also SUPER relevant. Downside: only known her since April (obviously). Thoughts?
    ...do you pay your tutor? Because using them for a rec could be a very bad idea.

  5. #5

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    She was my professor through my Uni for 2 years but the last 3 months she has been giving me private lessons because I graduated.

    Does this make a difference?

    I mean, my tuition money payed her while I was in school.
    Quote Originally Posted by MJN View Post
    Since when does awareness of surrounding make an ALT better? Chances are if they didn't have a clue and got lost in the forest and eaten by bears on the way to work, the school would be better off and the ALT would in turn be a better ALT.

  6. #6
    Cool Story, Bro Takoyaki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Letter of Recommendation Question

    Sorry to butt in but I also have a letter of recommendation question,

    I just picked up my letter I asked my university professor to write and although im happy with what he has written, instead of writing a page like I asked him he has only done a couple paragraphs and im really not in a position to ask him to do it again

    will it being a little short be an issue?
    I probably post things that interest you
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  7. #7
    disobedient avocado Lianwen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hunterofpeace View Post
    She was my professor through my Uni for 2 years but the last 3 months she has been giving me private lessons because I graduated.

    Does this make a difference?

    I mean, my tuition money payed her while I was in school.
    if you pay her for private lessons, non university sponsored/recognized lessons, then yes it could make a difference. Any reference you're paying directly is a big no no. It's like asking your dad to write your reference for you.

  8. #8
    Cool Story, Bro Takoyaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomulusLupin View Post
    If anything, they'll be glad it's short. In my college admissions experience, as long as he sells you, shorter is better because it's easier to read.
    thanks again RomulusLupin
    I probably post things that interest you
    nihonomnom | JET Program tales from Kobe-shi \(^ω^\)└(★o★)┐(〜^∇^)〜

    For Fun
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