Profs of MeFi et al, help me ask for recommendations for grad school?
October 15, 2013 11:26 AM Subscribe
I'm in the process of applying to graduate school. I need to ask for recommendations. I am really nervous and concerned about this and I have a few questions.
posted by Lutoslawski to education (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I've seen some of the older questions about this, but I'm doing the special snowflake thing. Apologies.
I'm applying to grad school for a health-related field. I've been out of undergrad for just over 5 years. I've spent the past year in a post-bacc program to complete the pre-reqs for grad school.
I need 3 recommendations. I've decided I'd like to ask one professor from my post-bacc program, the person who was my boss for the majority of the time since I finished undergrad, and, ideally, a professor from undergrad.
The professor from undergrad I'd like to ask was the supervisor for my senior research project. I worked with her one-on-one for a year. I didn't really know what I wanted to do when I finished undergrad, but she made clear at that time (5 years ago) that she would be happy to write me a recommendation if I ever needed one. But of course it took me a while to figure that out, we've been out of touch, and now I'm nervous about emailing her and asking for a rec.
What's appropriate here? Should I email her first to inquire, and offer to send my personal statement and my resume if she agrees to write it? Should I send all of that with the initial email?
I'm a little worried because the thesis I wrote as a senior was really quite pretentious and I've changed quite a bit since then. I'm sure she'll remember me, but at the time I was an aspiring philosopher with a mohawk. I'm not that person now. Is my personal statement for grad school enough information about what I've been up to in the interim? Should I send her something else? She's across the country, so I can't meet up with her unfortunately.
If one of the folks I ask says they can't, how do I determine who else might be appropriate to ask? I've been out of undergrad for a while. I could ask two profs from my post-bacc program, but I was only moderately close to the one I plan to ask already. I did well in all of the courses, and I know some of them know who I am, but I'm not particularly 'close' with any others.
And lastly, what's an appropriate thank you or follow-up? I'm asking all of my recommenders more than two months before the first application is due, which I feel is enough time? Do I send a thank-you card? Cookies? Nothing?
Ahh! Halp me Mefi. This is far from my comfort zone.