Hey guys, welcome to my channel.
Today is another educational video.
We are gonna talk about a very important part of your application.
And the goal of this video is to help you get accepted
to a dream university.
So if you’re interested, please take your notepad
to write things down and listen carefully.
We’re gonna talk about recommendation letters,
what to write in them,
and we’re gonna look at a recommendation letter
that got a student into Harvard.
So it’s gonna be a very important
and very informative video.
I like to divide the application into four parts.
Part number one, your GPA and test scores, 30%.
第一部分 你的绩点和考试成绩 这部分占到30%
Part number two, your results, your work experience,
第二部分 你的成果 你的工作经历
your volunteer experience, 30%.
30% your personal statements, motivation letters and stuff.
And 10% are your recommendation letters.
What does that mean for you?
It means that 10% of your total preparation time
should be dedicated to working with your recommendation letters.
First thing to remember is that different program
require a different recommendation letter,
so always always check the admissions section
of your university’s program.
For bachelor’s programs you would normally take
two recommendation letters from teachers at school,
preferably from subjects that are related to your field of study.
For master’s programs that are more scientific,
you would probably have two academic recommendation letters
from your professor or maybe manager of your department,
maybe some lecturers that you work closely with.
And for your MBA you would probably have two professional recommendations.
Once you’ve looked at your university’s page
and realized that you need one academic for example
and one professional recommendation letter.
It’s time to decide who’s gonna submit those recommendations.
I’ve recently been to Stanford
where we talked about the admissions to MBA programs
and what they told me is
that they see so many recommendation letters from superstars,
they see recommendation letters from kings and queens,
they see recommendation letters from managers of top corporations,
and they are no longer impressed by them
because what they’re looking for, they’re looking for a recommender
who really has worked with you, who knows you as a person,
who can tell real life stories, anecdotes.
Like when we think about personal statements
and when we think about recommendation letters,
these two parts of your application
are the only way to show you as a person,
to show you through stories and through your accomplishments.
So it’s very important to choose a person who you used to work with,
who knows you from inside out.
There’s no point in reaching out to somebody who’s super famous or
who only knew you for like a week and ask them for recommendation letter.
Cause they won’t be able to tell any stories,
and 90% chance they’re gonna tell you
that they would not be able to submit that recommendation
cause they don’t really know you.
Which makes total sense.
Submitting your application.
So basically when you fill everything
in on the university’s website, you click this Apply button,
and there is a section called Recommendation Letters
where you would insert your recommender’s email.
A very important thing to remember,
I know some recommenders who have like @gmail or @hotmail.com.
That would not work, cause this ruins your credibility.
Cause anyone could create @gmail email address
and submit any recommendation.
So please ask your professor or your teacher
to find a corporate email or your boss,
like it should be @yourcompany.com, @youruniversity.com
Cause this adds credibility to your application,
and sometimes recommendation letters
that are coming from @ gmail would not be considered at all,
so please pay attention to that.
So in the Recommendation Letter section,
you put in your recommender’s email
and they get an email from a university
that asks them to submit a recommendation letter.
Now what should be in that recommendation letter?
Now let’s talk about the content itself.
If you are coming from an international university
and English is not a native language
at that country where you’re coming from,
you might have the same problem as I used to have.
When I talked to my professors
and asked them to submit a recommendation letter,
they told me” Unfortunately Marina,
他们会告诉我 对不起 玛丽亚
we do not speak English,
and please write recommendation letters yourself.
We’re gonna check the content and if we approve,
we’re just gonna submit it.”
That means double work for me,
cause it’s gonna be me who’s writing
all the recommendation letters,
and I will need to check them.
And by the way guys,
always check your recommendation letters,
always check your personal statements.
Our team has created a service that’s called fluent.express
where you can submit your text,
and a native speaker would instantly check it,
because it’s not just about grammar and spelling mistakes,
it’s also about the way you phrase your sentences,
the way use different words.
Sometimes you would use words that do not make any sense.
So please please, very important, check everything on fluent.express,
or if you’re able to hire like a professional editor, do that.
But fluent.express is a lot cheaper compared to other options.
Now when you think about the content of recommendation letter,
it’s always about anecdotes.
So what I used to do,
I used to sit down with my professors
and I would go through stories that I wanted them to mention.
I wanted them to highlight
that I am one of the top performing students in class,
and I wanted them to highlight how I did well at the exams.
I wanted them to highlight that I have an active social life.
And we sat down and we talked about things
that I contributed to my department’s social life
like I sang at the concerts and I organized some events.
And I also wanted them to highlight my volunteer experience
like the way I helped other professors,
the way I organized different competitions for students.
So it’s really your job to sit down with the recommender
and go through things that you want them to mention
because they have so many students
and sometimes they can just forget things.
So that’s really important if you’re writing a letter yourself,
then it still makes sense to sit down with a professor
and just discuss in your own language
what you’re gonna write about
cause sometimes they can add some valuable ideas.
And after you have all of that,
you put down the letter together,
we’re gonna look at the samples so you know how it looks,
and your recommender just pastes it into the field that’s provided by the university,
so it’s gonna be an automated link.
People no longer send any hard copies.
So it’s all online.
Really easy but still it’s possible to mess up
because sometimes people forget about deadlines,
especially if you’re applying in the second deadline
which is like beginning of January,
a lot of professors would either go to vacation
or have a lot of exams at work and university
and they would just forget about your recommendation letter,
and it’s your job to make sure that
the application is complete before you submit it,
cause if they don’t submit recommendations,
the admissions committee is not gonna consider your application.
So please be careful about the deadlines
and please start this work as early as you can.
Talk to your professors, talk to your teachers,
talk to your colleagues.
Another thing, sometimes you don’t wanna tell
your manager that you’re quitting,
that you might be quitting your job in a year or two,
if you get accepted to your master’s or MBA.
A lot of universities understand that and sometimes
they would allow you to ask for recommendation letter
from your colleague or maybe your client,
again manager is always preferred,
the CEO of the company is always preferred,
but he cannot be a relative.
So Dmitry was my recommender,
he’s now my husband but he’s also my CEO,
and at the time when he recommended me,
we were not married so it was technically all correct,
but please make sure that it’s not your husband
or your dad or your mom who’s recommending you.
They do not allow that.
And yeah then you submit recommendations
and you just wait for the answer.
And if you’re applying to six universities,
that means that your recommender
would need to submit their recommendation six times.
So you can apply to 20, you can apply to 30,
but please make sure your recommender knows your plans
because that means like 30 times they’re gonna click
copy paste, copy paste, and send send send.
And all of the universities are different.
For some universities, one letter should be okay.
For other universities, like University of Florida,
MBA program would ask you like seven questions,
they ask the recommender seven questions.
So it’s not just copy pasting stuff,
it’s actually creating a recommendation letter for every single university
and it could be a lot of work.
Okay let’s look at a recommendation letter,
that got a student into Harvard University.
It’s gonna be for bachelor’s program.
So as I mentioned for bachelor’s program,
you normally ask your teachers, like two different subjects,
to submit a recommendation.
So here we have a guy who’s asked
his chemistry teacher to submit a recommendation.
I’m gonna give you a link below
so you can check out the recommendation letter yourself.
Basically this one is super long.
Normally I would say it’s 250 words.
This one is long, well, I would say it’s like 500 words.
Again make sure you’re within the word limit.
It starts with To Whom It May Concern,
信的开头是To Whom It May Concern
which is a very basic phrase for all formal letters
when you don’t know who you’re talking to and you
probably don’t know who you’re talking to from the admissions committee.
So To Whom It May Concern, date,
就用To Whom It May Concern 还有日期
and then, okay, here we go, very important,
the first paragraph mentions that Allen,
who’s the student we’re talking about,
has taken part in the Chemistry Olympiad
taken by approximately 11,000 students nationwide,
and he got a second position.
You start with things you want to highlight,
cause admissions committee has like
maybe five minutes to look through your application,
cause they have thousands,
sometimes it’s longer, sometimes even shorter,
but they scan everything.
So it’s really important to put important things at first.
And so the teacher actually here
is the principal of his school,
he starts with the Olympiad
and I think it’s really really smart.
Then in the second paragraph he talks about
his academic performance,
and he says that he was the top excelling student
among the two sections of AP Chemistry class,
and he mastered laboratory techniques, earned top score.
So he highlights that Allen is a top student.
And then again he goes back to anecdotes.
He doesn’t just mention that the student is good,
the student is talented,
he tells that Allen spent an extensive amount of time
studying independently, like self-study,
in order to ensure that he would cover all
of the topics that our class did not yet study
and often sought additional instructions during lunch.
Like this is super important.
He says, he does real stories,
how Allen invested his personal time into studying,
and this is again a real anecdote
that the admissions committee is looking for.
It’s not looking for adjectives,
it’s not looking for compliments,
it’s looking for real stories, and here what the principal does,
he just talks about all of the stories.
The next paragraph talks about Allen’s social life.
So it’s always important to highlight yourself
as a part of the community.
It’s always important to mention
how you function within your class.
So here he says that Allen often explained concepts to confused classmates,
actively participated during discussion,
asked questions to ensure he had a firm understanding of concepts.
So he’s showing that Allen is an active student,
not only focusing on himself but also helping others.
And he finishes with some compliments,
but they are are already proven by actions.
He exhibits the qualities of a leader
and promising scientist who truly loves science.
I love this phrase.
And then again he goes back to his extracurricular activities
and he says that his free time is also connected to studying.
And this is why I tell you guys
it’s really important to do some volunteer work,
it’s very important to do some extra academic stuff,
travel to learn languages, travel to learn things,
cause this is something you can always mention
in your recommendation letters and personal statements,
so they look like you’re doing a lot
and you probably are doing a lot.
Allen was a participant at the Research Science Institute at MIT
where he has conducted research.
So he’s mentioning like all of the different extracurricular scientific stuff
that Allen has done.
And he finishes his letter with just some personal traits.
And it’s really important to show your personal stuff as well
like Allen is a charismatic individual,
he’s respected and liked by faculty and peers.
You can actually take some phrases to your recommendation letters.
I really like that.
He’s an individual who’s respected and liked by faculty and peers.
And again all of the compliments are followed by real anecdotes.
Throughout his high school career,
Allen often stopped by my room during lunch
to take my AP Chemistry tests
to review his general chemistry,
but he also often stopped by during lunch or after school
to chat about his latest developments, events at school,
and other various topics.
So again showing how Allen is actually interested
in studying chemistry.
He’s a balanced individual with a sense of humor.
So some compliments as well.
And active participant in community activities and stuff.
And he finishes the letter by formally recommending him.
He says that Allen Cheng would truly be
a superior addition to the student body at Harvard.
So basically he’s kinda selling the student to Harvard.
This is an ideal recommendation letter.
This is something you can rely on when writing your own.
Again don’t forget the main rule of recommendation letter,
any compliment should be followed by an anecdote,
and the recommendation letter should be provided
by a person who knows you well and
who used to work with you a lot.
That was it for me guys.
I really hope that this video was useful
and I really hope that you’re now one step closer
to getting into universities of your dreams
Thank you so much watching this video.
Don’t forget to use fluent.express.
And don’t forget that there’s the whole comment section below this video
where you can ask people about their admissions process,
where you can communicate with people
who are in the same situation as you
cause I know it can be really lonely going through this process.
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Hey guys, welcome to my channel.