‘Before I graduate, I need one more thing…’

By: Taylor King

The anticipation of graduating and receiving your undergraduate degree is an important time in ones college career. Looking into the future, figuring out where to put your footprints in the world can be nerve-racking. This is where your advisors and professors can help you and guide you into the right direction.

Letters of recommendation are crucial to the job search. Making sure that you have a good relationship with someone in your major is valuable.

After reading the glowing letter of recommendation, it builds confidence and reassures that you have worked hard to get to where you are and that your superiors see that as well.

Being able to be open and honest about how students are in the classroom and how they are as people is important information to ask to have in your letter.

“Stories that demonstrate the candidate’s ability to rise to a challenge are valued, as long as they are concise. If anything that can be qualified, it should be. For instance, if you can say that the student achieved the highest average among 30 students, it’s more impressive than just mentioning his or her A in the class,” Dr. Barbara Schleppenbach said.

Showing good qualities such as being on time, or even showing up early for class or making sure that you are hardly turning things in late can go a long way for your professors.

“I have to be able to give honest and answers to the questions that the recipient would have. If the student has negative items in his or her background such as a bad semester, I have to know how he or she is going to address those with the employer. If I can sincerely say that my experiences with the student indicate that he or she can now be relied on to deliver 100 percent in the job, I will write the letter,” Schleppenbach said.

“With being a nursing major, I know that I have to do the little things right as well as do my best to have personal relationships with my instructors. Since there are so many of us in the nursing school, it can be hard but if that means going in and asking questions instead of over email then so be it. But I know to be nurse, our letters of recommendation are important for hospitals to see how reliable we are with other people and giving them the best care,” Emma Lynch said.

In the business field, letters of recommendation can mean everything. The employers must know that they are hiring someone who has good people skills and who can work well with others and can be reliable as well.

“In my first business class, my professor could not stress enough to us how important it was that we have good letters of recommendation because our employers will need to know what we are like through descriptive letters that our superiors write for us. As well as how we work with people, they will need to know how we can deal with people and handle stressful situations and if we can contribute new ideas as well,” Sarah Blair said.

At times, doing the bare minimum will not get you very far with your professors. Next time, if you walk past one of your professors’ offices, take time out of your day to go get to know them better and you will see a difference in how you interact with them because they are great connections for the future that is ahead of you.

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