Should I use one of my former professors as a reference
June 17, 2017 4:18 PM   Subscribe

Should I use one of my former professors as a reference for an internship I want to apply for if I took three classes with her and I received a B in one of the classes?

I just graduated from college with my Bachelors degree in Anthropology. I am thinking about applying to the anthropology internship program at the Museum of Natural History for the fall. They require a resume, a cover letter, and contact information for 2 or 3 academic references. I don't know whether or not I should use one of my former professors as a reference. I took three upper-level classes in my major with that professor and I received an A in the first class, an A- in the second class, and a B in the third class. The last class that I took with her, in which I got a B, was in Fall 2013, but I spoke to her last semester and she said that she still remembers me because I have read a lot, actively participated in class discussions and showed interest in the material covered. I am very upset about the B to the point that I think about committing suicide over that grade. That class was very easy and there were no exams. The whole grade was based on a final paper that was due at the end of the semester. I worked very hard on that paper and did a lot of research, but unfortunately I got a B due to spelling mistakes because I didn't have time to proofread and edit it before handing it in. I know that I could have done much better than a B, but there is nothing I can do now to change the past.
posted by annalem26 to Education (3 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This question as framed won't work for the site, please contact us. -- Eyebrows McGee

 
You should always ask someone if they will be your reference before using them as a reference. In addition to it being the courteous and professional thing to do, it avoids that awkward moment when someone calls your unaware reference and they say, "Who?"

So the answer is: ask her.
posted by jamaro at 4:23 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


- Please be kinder to yourself about the grade and the situation.
- Consider getting some help if that's a recurrent thought about suicide.

To directly answer your question - it sounds like this professor thinks highly of you and would recommend you - why would you not use her as a reference? Getting a B is not like getting fired from a job. It's a good grade.
posted by randomkeystrike at 4:24 PM on June 17


If your professor likes and remembers you, ask her for (and get) a recommendation. My strongest letter of recommendation came from a professor who gave me two Ds. (I was very bad at foreign languages, but better, it turns out, at culture classes related to that foreign language.)
posted by Polycarp at 4:35 PM on June 17


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