I'm having trouble getting references from my university. I need two if I want to study at postgraduate level, but I haven’t been able to get one!
I had previously assumed that my project supervisors would be my references (as this tends to be the case on the course).
The first person I asked politely told me to ask other people. The second person agreed, but just didn’t do it. I emailed her twice and went to see her, she told me she had received the reference request and the conversation went no further. I’m convinced she’s changed her mind.
I’m not good with people; I have social phobias and communication difficulties, which is why I would like advise from others’ on this situation.
Is there a “proper way” to approach someone for a reference? How should I follow it up?
How long have you been waiting for them to give you the reference? I had to wait a month before one of my references up loaded his. Academics are busy people and often aren't able to send one off right away.
If its been longer than about 3/4 weeks then I'd email her again. Just say that you understood that she'd recieved the form or whatever and ask her if she was still in a position to be able to give you a reference. Then politely ask her to provide one at her earliest convenience.
Have you started looking around for the second person yet?
Just email your former lecturers and ask them if they would be willing to support your application to graduate school. It helps if they remember you, so that they have more to write about, but it doesn't hurt to ask the instructor of any class you did well in for a reference. This may not be the way to get stellar references but some will certainly agree to write a standard to good reference depending on how well you did.