Letters of Recommendation - Direct Entry

  1. I'm looking at Direct Entry programs, which I'm sure many of you already know. Anyway, it suddenly occurred to me that I'm going to need letters of reference, specifically for grad school....and I've not got many to choose from.

    I work in a tiny office, my boss is not only an idiot, but incompetent with deadlines. My employee review was 3 months past the due date. I don't trust him to A) write a competent letter or B) finish it on time.

    This kinda leaves me up the creek. I don't start classes for a few weeks, and that's not going to help since the application deadlines are March 1st. I do work with a camp that is for children with cancer that I can probably get a letter from, but it's not really what they are asking for.

    The application states:

    "Letters of recommendation should come from those who can speak to your professional and scholastic abilities. It is strongly preferred to have
    letters of recommendation from those with a graduate degree."

    My boss also doesn't have a graduate degree. What are direct entry students doing to get 3 letters of recommendation?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   Asherah
    Quote from mvanz9999
    What are direct entry students doing to get 3 letters of recommendation?
    Well the program I applied to didn't specifically state that the recommenders needed to hold graduate degrees. They school suggested that the applicant approach those in an educational, employment or volunteer setting who had a mentoring or supervisory relationship to the applicant and who could sufficiently attest to the applicant's capabilities as they apply to the potential program. With those criteria in mind I chose two former professors and my direct manager/employer.

    Good luck, I know it can be stressful when you have to choose individuals to speak on your behalf!
  4. by   mvanz9999
    Professors are kind of out. I haven't been in school for 9 or 10 years....I'm going back in a few weeks, but don't have time to forge a relationship with a professor.
  5. by   lc3
    My school asked for one academic, personal and healthcare reference. Some recommenders are willing to have you write the letter yourself and they will sign it. My recommender offered to do that. So, for your current boss, I would propose that if you dont feel confindent about it. Say something like, " I realize you are really busy, would you be able to write me a good letter for grad school, OR since you are so busy would it be ok that I write it and you look over it and sign it?" You could also contact old professors and if they can, have them meet with you to discuss your grad school plans. I know this might not be ideal, but if you need letters then this might be a viable option. Also give them a package with helpful info about yourself.

    I will also suggest when you ask recommenders, ask atleast a month beforehand, give them your resume, a draft of your personal statement or cover letter and description of the program. I hope this helps.

    LC
    Last edit by lc3 on Jan 3, '07
  6. by   romie
    You may have many untapped relationships around you. Do you work with a consultant regularily? Is there someone who teaches seminars or continuing education programs you attend? Is there a department head in a complimentary department with whom you work with?

    For my admissions application I included letters written by a former professor (It had only been a year since I was in school), my supervisor (administrator at a SNF) and my consultant.

    Just be sure that whomever writes your letters will have positive things to say about you. You may want to ask more than 3 people and have them give you the letters in a sealed envelope so that you can send them in yourself to ensure that you meet deadlines.
  7. by   mvanz9999
    Thank you Romie.

    I have good relationships from the camp that I volunteer for. I'm requesting that a couple people write letters.

    I stress over and over that they must be able to write an outstanding letter - and if they are not comfortable doing that, I would rather they refuse.

    As far as work, I have nothing besides my own boss. My boss' boss is an even bigger dingbat that him.
  8. by   arciedee
    Do you have any former bosses or coworkers that can vouch for you? I asked my former boss to complete one for me rather than my current one... I just felt that he would write a better rec.

    Are you on any committees? Volunteer activities? Church? I agree with romie, consider all of your activities and who knows you well and can speak knowledgeably about your leadership/teamwork/compassion/etc. One of my recs came from a friend... usually that's not a particularly objective source, however she knew me well in college and went on to pursue an accelerated 2nd degree RN program herself, so she knew what such a program involved and how my qualities were suited towards it.
  9. by   classicdame
    How about your personal physician or Nurse Practitioner? Have you compelted your baccalaureate degree? If so, you could get reference letters from faculty.
  10. by   mvanz9999
    Quote from arciedee
    Do you have any former bosses or coworkers that can vouch for you? I asked my former boss to complete one for me rather than my current one... I just felt that he would write a better rec.

    Are you on any committees? Volunteer activities? Church? I agree with romie, consider all of your activities and who knows you well and can speak knowledgeably about your leadership/teamwork/compassion/etc. One of my recs came from a friend... usually that's not a particularly objective source, however she knew me well in college and went on to pursue an accelerated 2nd degree RN program herself, so she knew what such a program involved and how my qualities were suited towards it.
    My former boss quit IT and moved out of state. I have no idea where he went. The boss before that just didn't like me and fired me. He would have nothing nice to say. LOL!

    Unfortunately I have been out of school for 10 years. I do volunteer and think I can get some recommendations from them.

    classicdame: How are people using their personal physicians to get letters of recommendation? I have had my current physician for 2 years, but he doesn't know me that well. He knows my lab numbers and weight, but I really don't have any interaction with him, because I've never really been sick.
    Last edit by mvanz9999 on Jan 5, '07
  11. by   CEG
    I had my midwife write one for me as I was applying for a CNM program. My intermediate boss's wife was a Women''s Health NP and she wrote one for me. My ultimate boss (an Army Colonel with an advanced degree) wrote the third.

    My program stressed to me that having someone from the field you are tyring to enter write one of your letters looked good- like you actually knew what you were getting into.

    Good luck.
  12. by   Asherah
    Looking back at the OP, the camp where you volunteer seems to be a good choice IMO, there I would imagine you are working directly with individuals with specific health care needs, positively affecting their outcomes (even though it is a camp and not a medical setting). I don't think a school would frown on a letter coming from a volunteer resource like the one you describe.

    I think in these situations with rec letters you just need to take a look at your available resources and do your best. I felt the pressure as well and I resorted to asking two professors that I hadn't known for quite as long as I would have liked, but as I had done quite well in their classes and made an effort to grow our student/teacher relationship (i.e. attended office hours, all optional study sessions, class participation), they agreed to write on my behalf. As I am trying to get into an academic program I felt confident asking someone to vouch for my academic capabilities in a competitive setting. I know academics is not the end-all-be-all of recommendation letters, but since they weigh cum. GPA and pre-req GPA fairly heavily, I'm sure they look at it with considerable favor if at least one letter comes from an academic setting.
  13. by   Gennaver
    Quote from mvanz9999
    My former boss quit IT and moved out of state. I have no idea where he went. The boss before that just didn't like me and fired me. He would have nothing nice to say. LOL!

    Unfortunately I have been out of school for 10 years. I do volunteer and think I can get some recommendations from them.

    classicdame: How are people using their personal physicians to get letters of recommendation? I have had my current physician for 2 years, but he doesn't know me that well. He knows my lab numbers and weight, but I really don't have any interaction with him, because I've never really been sick.
    Hello,
    My gyn wrote one for me. Oh, sure, I was an employee at the office too but, I asked her as a person whom I respect and as a person who would be able to appropriately write a letter of recommendation for a health care professions applicant.

    I had only worked at that specific facility under a year and been a new patient to her but, from our one on one discussion she was willing and enthused to write it for me.

    Gen
  14. by   boomer28
    Hi,

    I just got accepted to a direct entry program. I agree with the other posters who suggested asking for recommendations from contacts outside of work and through volunteering. I actually had a co-worker write a recommendation for me, in addition to a former professor and my boss. That way I had a variety of people. I knew my co-worker was bad with deadlines (always turning things in at the last minute or later) so I told him the deadline was actually earlier than it was. Sure enough, he turned it in the very day I gave him as the deadline.

    Hope that helps. Good luck!

    boomer28

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