Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums
Sign in to follow this  
merci

Reference letters

Recommended Posts

On the UBC website it states that 3 reference letters are required and typically include 1 academic, 1 professional, and 1 community service. Does anyone know how UBC would define community service? I am asking as I have not volunteered in a role that is obviously service to the community for an extended period of time (only one-off occasions), however I was a volunteer and president of a student club for 4 years and have done some work professionally that I would argue served the community.

Any insights on who/what activities would count as community service?

Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you get an interview, you'll receive more information about the reference letters. you haven't really described your club activity, so not sure how much help this is for you. student clubs aren't traditionally considered community service activities. they're more extracurricular leadership activities. community service are things like: soup kitchen, hospital volunteer, leading an activity for the community benefit (eg free exercises for seniors or individuals with disability).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, merci said:

On the UBC website it states that 3 reference letters are required and typically include 1 academic, 1 professional, and 1 community service. Does anyone know how UBC would define community service? I am asking as I have not volunteered in a role that is obviously service to the community for an extended period of time (only one-off occasions), however I was a volunteer and president of a student club for 4 years and have done some work professionally that I would argue served the community.

Any insights on who/what activities would count as community service?

Thanks!

 

It’s a ‘service’ reference, which is not strictly from volunteering. They’re generally looking for someone who managed or supervised you who can comment on elements of your NAQ related to service to your community, e.g. altruism, service ethic, ability to work with others, relate to others, etc. It doesn’t have to be the classic unpaid pre-med volunteer role. It could be from a workplace or a community you’re very involved with (like a church), etc. A club could potentially work if it was very service oriented, but you may find it difficult to find a suitable referee if everyone else involved was just other students like yourself. If you use a workplace reference, you just have to be mindful that the same person cannot also give you a professional reference (which would need to focus on different qualities).

Edited by frenchpress

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, frenchpress said:

It’s a ‘service’ reference, which is not strictly from volunteering. They’re generally looking for someone who managed or supervised you who can comment on elements of your NAQ related to service to your community, e.g. altruism, service ethic, ability to work with others, relate to others, etc. It doesn’t have to be the classic unpaid pre-med volunteer role. It could be from a workplace or a community you’re very involved with (like a church), etc. A club could potentially work if it was very service oriented, but you may find it difficult to find a suitable referee if everyone else involved was just other students like yourself. If you use a workplace reference, you just have to be mindful that the same person cannot also give you a professional reference (which would need to focus on different qualities).

Thanks! This is very helpful. For my masters project, I created a management plan for rental housing for a First Nations community that included extensive meeting facilitation. This then led into doing several more projects for the First Nation and working with Elders on the project. I suppose that my supervisor for the work could attest to my dedication to work for the community and desire to help and make a difference. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, merci said:

Thanks! This is very helpful. For my masters project, I created a management plan for rental housing for a First Nations community that included extensive meeting facilitation. This then led into doing several more projects for the First Nation and working with Elders on the project. I suppose that my supervisor for the work could attest to my dedication to work for the community and desire to help and make a difference. 

Yes, probably a good choice. Especially since research supervisors generally can’t be used as an academic reference, and this supervisor may be able to provide a good reference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, RiderSx said:

The academic reference could only be provided by professors right? I never understood how a professor could speak about your abilities when all they know is you got an A+ in their class...

They can be provided by anyone who teaches an undergraduate level course, not just a ‘professor’.

But you’re right, they can’t usually say much. If you just take a class and never been to office hours for help or talked to the prof much about the course material, then typically the letter will contain a brief description of the class, your grade and rank in the class relative to the average, and often not much else. Sometimes the professor will talk to teaching assistants if it’s a project based course or one with significant TA interaction to get more feedback. Or if, for example, the course has writing assignments, they may look at how you scored on some of those to help comment on things like writing/communication skills. But not everyone even bothers to do that much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...