Letter of recommendation from department graduate?
October 14, 2013 9:28 AM Subscribe
I'm considering applying to an MS program in statistics at a competitive school. A guy I've worked with holds a PhD from the statistics department at that school, and I think he'd give me a pretty good recommendation if I asked him for one. But I'm unsure whether or not that's a good thing to do, as this fellow isn't a professor.
posted by mf_ss to education (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Two things I’m unclear about:
- Are recommendations from graduates worthwhile? Presumably this fellow has some cachet with professors in the department since they granted his PhD. But, perhaps those professors are not so involved in the M.S. admissions process? (I actually don’t know much about how admission review works.) And anyway, perhaps a recommendation from a graduate means little if he's not a professor?
- How about if the recommendation can only speak to my capability in an industry/non-academic context? This guy can certainly suggest I'm competent and can attest to my enthusiasm about statistics, but he can’t legitimately claim we've done research together.
Further context: I’m a nontraditional applicant; probably a decade older than the median age of students in the program. I don’t have any research experience. Though I just finished another degree and know a couple profs I could hit up for recommendations for classwork, the degree was an MBA, which is only tangentially relevant to stats. My job and my GRE scores work in my favor, but otherwise I'm an unconventional candidate for the program. General tips for someone in my position are welcome.