Your Name Is?

Reference Letter

              If you’re anything like me you just woke up and realized there’s only five weeks left of class. Yes it may be the end of the year, and yes that means you’ve got the world on your back, but you should make time for this one thing: KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS. Soon you’ll be applying for jobs, graduate school or internships; most of these will ask for academic references. Believe me it is no fun having to contact professors months (or years) later, trying to remind them you were once one of their thousands of students.

When I decided to apply to graduate school I had to submit two academic reference letters!  This was really difficult considering I was an International Development major whose average class sat 200 people. More so, I always shied away from asking questions and was sure all of my professors would have long forgotten me. Realistically, you might not be in the handful of people who plan out their lives and seek to build relationships with their professors within the first week. Rather, you may not think you will need academic references and your professors may not even know your name.

Don’t worry you still have time, really! Just drop by their offices or go speak to them after class. Let them recognize your face and your name. Ask them questions and make sure to mention your own name. You may not realize this now but at McGill your professors are probably leaders in some field or another and you never know how useful the connection will be. If you think it’s easy to get a stranger who marked your exams once to write you a character letter you’ll realize sooner you were naïve. Taking ten seconds at the end of class to let the professor know your name may make the difference of success of failure in the future.


-Tracey Regimbal

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