- Presentation Opportunities
Most likely, there will come a time in your academic career where you will need a letter of recommendation. This can be an intimidating experience, but we have collaborated with the STEM Leaders Program to create this guideline for all steps of the process. Find the link to advising hours and other valuable resources at the bottom of this page to receive help and answer any questions that you may have!
Applications for undergraduate research programs
Graduate school applications
Study abroad program applications
Various scholarship applications
Ask someone who:
You worked closely with, including a job supervisor, an internship coordinator, a research mentor, someone who oversaw a volunteer experience, a club or academic advisor, a professor that knows you well, etc.
Is able to discuss personal and professional characteristics, such as your capacity to work independently and collaboratively, your academic and leadership skills, etc.
Is able to effectively evaluate your past performance
Is able to comment on your potential for success
Note - Do not ask your family members. This could create a conflict of interest!
Here are some steps to building a relationship with a professor or mentor who you might want to request a letter of recommendation from at some point:
Kindly provided by the STEM Leaders Program
Subject line: [Your name]: Recommendation Request
Dear [Recommenders name],
I am currently in the process of applying to scholarships and I am trying to gather a few letters of recommendation. I will be applying to a scholarship with John Deere in November and because you know me well as my mentor for the CAS Leadership Academy, I decided to start by asking you. Would you be willing to write me a strong letter of recommendation highlighting my leadership record and community involvement? My other references will be able to talk about my academic ability, but you are the only one who really knows how hard I worked on getting out of my comfort zone and overcoming some of the obstacles I faced last term. I was hoping maybe you could talk about how I handle stress and deal with setbacks because those are qualities the selection committee wants to see.
The application is due Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 11:59 pm. Below I have attached an excel sheet with more information on the scholarship application, my transcripts, resume, and personal essay. If you are able to write for me, you should be receiving an email request allowing you to submit the completed letter.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my request.
Subject line: [Your name]: Letter of Recommendation Reminder
Good afternoon [Recommenders name],
I’m touching base with you about the letter of recommendation I had requested from you earlier this month. I understand you may be busy, but I just wanted to remind you that the letter is due by Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 11:59 pm. Please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Thanks again for agreeing to write this letter for me!
Hello [Recommender’s name],
I wanted to thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to write me a letter of recommendation. I greatly appreciate the time and effort you put into it. It is sure to help me during the application process.
I am currently in the process of waiting to hear back from the scholarship committee. Thank you again, and I will be sure to keep you updated regarding the status of my application.
Good afternoon [Recommender’s name],
I wanted to update you on the status of my scholarship application. I have heard back from the committee and was awarded the scholarship!
Thank you for your time and for supporting me as I continue to advance my career. If any other opportunities arise again in the future, I will be sure to reach out to you again.