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Thread: Using a sculpture professor for a letter of recommendation?

  1. #1
         
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    Using a sculpture professor for a letter of recommendation?

    Ok, so I thought I was gonna go architecture school, until I started working with architects, then I realized that as much as I like architecture, A-school is not going to be a good fit. So after much research and deliberating, I am applying for various “real estate development” or “planning with a development emphasis” master’s programs.

    Here is the dilemna. While preparing for A-school, I took 2 sculpture classes, both from the same teacher, who I got to know quite well and who became aware of my skills and work ethic. I put a lot of work into those classes. I would like to get him to write a letter of recommendation since he knows me so well, but will it be detrimental to my applications to have my sculpture teacher write my letter? I’m sure the letter will be a positive one, I am just afraid that the admissions people will laugh at this recommendation from a fine arts professor, especially since I’m not a fine arts major (I have a planning bachelor’s). My other two letters are going to come from a planning professor who I have worked closely with ( I was his research assistant) and an environmental policy professor with whom I am a contributing author in a book to be published this fall. Is the sculpture professor idea a good one? I am planning on applying to MIT, Harvard, and Georgia Tech for planning; and MIT, Columbia, and Clemson for real estate development.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Heck no

    Quote Originally posted by davidgray
    Ok, so I thought I was gonna go architecture school, until I started working with architects, then I realized that as much as I like architecture, A-school is not going to be a good fit. So after much research and deliberating, I am applying for various “real estate development” or “planning with a development emphasis” master’s programs.

    Here is the dilemna. While preparing for A-school, I took 2 sculpture classes, both from the same teacher, who I got to know quite well and who became aware of my skills and work ethic. I put a lot of work into those classes. I would like to get him to write a letter of recommendation since he knows me so well, but will it be detrimental to my applications to have my sculpture teacher write my letter? I’m sure the letter will be a positive one, I am just afraid that the admissions people will laugh at this recommendation from a fine arts professor, especially since I’m not a fine arts major (I have a planning bachelor’s). My other two letters are going to come from a planning professor who I have worked closely with ( I was his research assistant) and an environmental policy professor with whom I am a contributing author in a book to be published this fall. Is the sculpture professor idea a good one? I am planning on applying to MIT, Harvard, and Georgia Tech for planning; and MIT, Columbia, and Clemson for real estate development.

    I don't see that as a problem. I've used the general manager of the campus radio station I worked at as a recommendation for grad school, even though I never took any classes with him. As long as your grades are strong, your GRE scores are solid, and your essay that you might have to write is solid, you'll be fine. Besides, this shows that you have more going for you than just being a planner, and allows you to differentiate yourself.

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by whit_x
    I don't see that as a problem. I've used the general manager of the campus radio station I worked at as a recommendation for grad school, even though I never took any classes with him. As long as your grades are strong, your GRE scores are solid, and your essay that you might have to write is solid, you'll be fine. Besides, this shows that you have more going for you than just being a planner, and allows you to differentiate yourself.
    I used the Residence Life director for one of my references. Most reference letters will identify the nature of the relationship anyway and it would do some good to show that you can do other things besides planning. Besides, your other two references are awfully strong!

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by davidgray
    I am planning on applying to MIT, Harvard, and Georgia Tech for planning; and MIT, Columbia, and Clemson for real estate development.
    My understanding is that those really competitive schools often look for something to differentiate you. Given that your other two references are really strong, I think it's a great idea and just might be the thing that gets you noticed. Such schools tend to only get applications by folks who have excellent grades, etc. If you have tons of folks with "perfect" scores, you have to find some other way to figure out who stands out from the crowd. One of the things they look for is someone "well-rounded" -- someone who has a life beyond being a perfect student. A reference from a sculpture professor gives them some idea that you have a rich life and are not just some automaton, trying to dot your i's and cross your t's for appearances sake -- something they do not want. They want more depth than that.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    They should be thrilled to get a letter of reference from him. He knows you well enough to attest to your character and skills. That should be more than enough.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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