One of the many rewards I experience as a college professor is getting to watch my students grow as young professionals. As they approach graduation, many begin to think about graduate school or finding their first professional, full-time job.
I’m thrilled to help my students find a graduate program or job that best suits them. And, I’ll usually bend over backwards (not literally) to help those students who’ve demonstrated a commitment to excellence in their performance as undergraduates. From informal career counseling and reviewing resumes to facilitating networking opportunities and just personal advising, I am happy to provide one-on-one counsel whenever one of my students request it because I want each to succeed.
However, I have noticed an escalating number of requests from current and former students for letters of recommendation or reference in the past few semesters. I cannot always accommodate these requests for various reasons.
Before requesting a recommendation or reference from me, I strongly urge my students to read this article which contains some guidelines for making such requests. It’s probably the most helpful article I’ve read and helps students understand the value and protocol for requesting such favors.
Generally, I reserve recommendations and references for those students whom I believe have earned it. So, when I agree to write a letter, you can be certain that I’ll do it with excellence as well.