Recommendation letters can be a great asset in your professional portfolio - and are sometimes required for certain programs or positions. 

Potential Recommenders

Start off with asking someone who will be your best advocate. Request to meet with them in person if possible to discuss your internship and the grant opportunity -- be prepared to articulate your interests and goals! Ask your professor or supervisor, "Do you believe that you are able to write a strong/helpful letter of support based on your knowledge of me and the information I have provided?" If the person seems hesitant or declines, ask someone else. 

  • Previous employers/supervisors
  • Professors/Instructors/Teachers
  • Teaching Assistants 
  • Academic Advisors
  • Association Deans

Asking for Letters

Plan ahead! Make an appointment with the letter writer and take with you a brief description of your plans and copies of your resume. Give your letter writer as much lead time as possible, and clearly highlight your deadline. References may want a month or more in lead time.

Provide Help

Offer to provide information that makes the writing task easier — details regarding your internship, a copy of your resume, unofficial copy of your transcript, the essays you are submitting for the application, etc.

Follow Up

Check in with your letter writer at some point in the process to be sure they have everything needed. Doing so allows you to be sure your letter is in the works. Once your recommenders have written your letter always follow-up with thank-you notes.