Returning today to our application advice series, Yaritza shares some things to keep in mind as you request letters of recommendation:
Recommendation letters are another essential material in your application that provide insight into who you are as a student, employee, and community member. These letters are crucial in helping our Committee understand you and your Fletcher “fit.”
Some people choose to ask for recommendations from individuals in their network who are high-ranking in their organizations because they believe it will make a stronger impact in their application. This can certainly be exciting if you know people in high places who can speak to you and your accomplishments. However, we find that the strongest recommendations come from direct supervisors, professors, mentors, and colleagues who have worked closely with the applicant and can speak to the quality of the individual with more specificity and experience.
Don’t be afraid to speak to your recommenders honestly about your recommendation request beforehand. You want to make sure that the person you are asking can actually write a positive letter for you and feels comfortable speaking about you and your preparedness for the degree program. Make sure they understand your goals and interests in international affairs. Also, make sure to give them plenty of time to write and submit their letter so that they do not feel rushed or inconvenienced.
Ultimately, find people who know you and can speak about you in an honest and confident light.