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fallingstargirl Offline
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Recommendation letters - February 26th 2016, 02:32 AM

Hey! So I'm still in girl scouts, and they have this program where you shadow a congressman for a week and sort of intern in Congress. I live right by DC and I want to go into something government-ish, so this is basically my dream opportunity. I told my government teacher about this and she encouraged me to apply and offered to write me a recommendation, but I still need one more. I've never done an application like this before, I really don't know who a good person to ask would be. I have a couple teachers that I'm on good terms with, but I don't really have any other classes that relate to this (except maybe journalism). I did have an teacher advisor I used for some long-term history projects, but it was a couple of years ago.

Does anyone have any suggestions on who to ask for recommendations and how to ask them? Can I just ask any teacher, and does it matter how long ago I had them?

Thanks guys

The opposite of war isn't peace - it's creation
~Jonathan Larson

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Kate* Offline
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Re: Recommendation letters - February 26th 2016, 03:13 AM

Hey there, you aren't the only one who struggles with how to get recommendations. If you can use your troop leader and she isn't related to you (mine was my mom), you could ask her. Or, if you have related volunteer experience you can try someone who oversees your work. If you want or need to go with a teacher, you're right. It's best to go with someone who teaches a related class or who you've worked with on a related project. If that's not an option, go with someone who knows you well and knows that your goals are in line with the shadowing. They'd be best able to explain why you should go and there's less explaining that way. As long as the teacher has had you as a student, and they remember you, then you can ask them. It doesn't have to be a current teacher, but the more recently they had you, the better, especially if they aren't really relevant. And, to quote my senior English teacher "If you're going to ask a teacher for a recommendation, make sure they like you!"

As far as how to ask. If it's someone who you've told about your career goals or you've done something related with them, you can bring it up that way. Something like, "We've talked before about how I am interested in x career, I did x project with you, etc. and there's a shadowing experience that I'm applying for through Girl Scouts, would you be willing to recommend me?" Be ready to answer questions about what it involves and what you'd be doing; since it's not through school, chances are they won't be familiar with it.

I know this might make it seem overwhelming, but it's more getting past the psychological part of it (at least for me) that makes hard for some people.

Good Luck!

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