Practice English Speaking&Listening with: How to get a strong recommendation letter (Get Accepted to Your Dream University Part #8)

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- Hey guys, welcome to my channel.

Today is another educational video

where we're gonna talk about a very important part

of your application recommendation letters,

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.

Continue watching.

(upbeat music)

I like to divide the application into four parts.

Part number one, your GPA and test scores, 30%.

Part number two, your results, your work experience,

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

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,

'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 I asked them to submit a recommendation letter,

they told me "Unfortunately Marina,

"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 would 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

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 you use different words.

Sometimes you would use words that do not make any sense.

So please please, very important,

check everything on,

or if you're able to hire

like a professional editor,

do that.

But 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'm 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 past 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,

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,

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.

Super important.

You start with things you want to highlight,

'cause admissions committee has like

maybe five minutes to look through your application

'cause they get thousands,

sometimes it's longer,

sometimes it's even shorter,

but they scan everything.

So it's really important

to put important things up 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 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 the university of your dreams.

Thank you so much watching this video.

Don't forget to use

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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hit the red Subscribe button,

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And I will see you soon.

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