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Worried about my references


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I've heard the rule of thumb is to aim for 1 academic and 2 non-academic references. I'm asking my PI for the academic one and my work supervisor for the first non-academic one.

As for the third reference (non-academic), I spoke with a prof who I worked extensively with to develop some altruistic programs both on campus and in the community. I opted for this reference over my volunteer coordinator from the place I volunteer at because my volunteer coordinator has not directly overseen me volunteering/would not be able to speak about specific examples from my volunteering.

Is it a problem that this 3rd reference isn't technically a reference from the "community" but rather from campus?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/7/2018 at 10:16 PM, Cuttlefish said:

I've heard the rule of thumb is to aim for 1 academic and 2 non-academic references. I'm asking my PI for the academic one and my work supervisor for the first non-academic one.

As for the third reference (non-academic), I spoke with a prof who I worked extensively with to develop some altruistic programs both on campus and in the community. I opted for this reference over my volunteer coordinator from the place I volunteer at because my volunteer coordinator has not directly overseen me volunteering/would not be able to speak about specific examples from my volunteering.

Is it a problem that this 3rd reference isn't technically a reference from the "community" but rather from campus?

Not at all! I have a few friends who opted for that route and got accepted without a problem. It is always good to have diversity in your references - but as long as they support you and have good things to say about you, you'll be fine. The rule of thumb is to ensure that applicants get AT LEAST 1 non-academic letter.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/21/2018 at 7:52 AM, SuperMed said:

Not at all! I have a few friends who opted for that route and got accepted without a problem. It is always good to have diversity in your references - but as long as they support you and have good things to say about you, you'll be fine. The rule of thumb is to ensure that applicants get AT LEAST 1 non-academic letter.

Can I get someone academic to write a letter on my non-academic qualities? One of my letters would be best if written by the President of a community group that I volunteered with but hes my age and I'm worried he will be perceived as peer. So would it be a problem if I told a prof everything and got her to write the letter on his behalf? 

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