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    Hi,

    I'm currently in a dilemma whilst working on my personal statement for a Financial economics masters application, of choosing who to ask for a reference from work(placement).

    My two options are my current line manager and a head economist.

    Firstly, I've worked with my line manager for the past 10 months so he will relatively know me better and subsequently could write a lot of about myself.

    However, the head economist, who I've worked with numerous times, obviously has a 'better' position and would look good on my application. Not only this but he has done a Phd in one of the schools I'm applying to.

    What should come first? Position or relation?
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    I am not sure if it's the same in the UK, but in North America at least, they strongly prefer academic references (UG professors, or professors you have done research with) over industrial references. Most universities here require 3 references, and at least 2 (ideally all 3) must be academic.

    Not sure if it's the same in the UK though.
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    (Original post by ihavemooedtoday)
    I am not sure if it's the same in the UK, but in North America at least, they strongly prefer academic references (UG professors, or professors you have done research with) over industrial references. Most universities here require 3 references, and at least 2 (ideally all 3) must be academic.

    Not sure if it's the same in the UK though.

    No, it really isn't the same.

    UK Masters applications generally need two references. If you're coming straight out of undergrad (or are within a year or two of having finished it), you'll be expected to provide two academic references. If you're some years past your last academic experience and are applying from industry, both of your referees are likely to be from your employer - the Masters uni wants to know about your abilities now, not what they used to be like in the past. Some unis may ask for one academic and one industrial.

    The concept of "professor" is also different in the UK, as it's a title restricted to very senior staff. It's very unlikely that an undergrad will have been involved with their research unless they've been supervised for their dissertation or done some research interning in holidays (which is not at all common in the UK). Academic references are preferred from uni staff who have direct experience of your work, preferably in a research capacity (i.e. dissertation supervisors), regardless of job title or academic rank.

    As the OP is coming out of industry, I'd expect their university to accept one or two industrial references. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to advise on which would be better.
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    Good question. I may do something like one academic and one heavyweight from finance industry
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    (Original post by Klix88)
    No, it really isn't the same.

    UK Masters applications generally need two references. If you're coming straight out of undergrad (or are within a year or two of having finished it), you'll be expected to provide two academic references. If you're some years past your last academic experience and are applying from industry, both of your referees are likely to be from your employer - the Masters uni wants to know about your abilities now, not what they used to be like in the past. Some unis may ask for one academic and one industrial.

    The concept of "professor" is also different in the UK, as it's a title restricted to very senior staff. It's very unlikely that an undergrad will have been involved with their research unless they've been supervised for their dissertation or done some research interning in holidays (which is not at all common in the UK). Academic references are preferred from uni staff who have direct experience of your work, preferably in a research capacity (i.e. dissertation supervisors), regardless of job title or academic rank.

    As the OP is coming out of industry, I'd expect their university to accept one or two industrial references. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to advise on which would be better.
    Ah that makes sense. The rationale for requiring academic references in NA is because they are more interested in the candidate's ability to do research than commercial work. Obviously there is some correlation, so industrial references are sometimes accepted, but they still strongly prefer academic references.

    I guess the biggest difference is that UG research is fairly common, and most people applying to masters are excepted to have done some.

    And it's interesting re: differences in "professor"! In NA there are lecturers (people who's primary job is to teach, and do very little research), and professors who do significant research. At most higher ranking universities in NA, most higher level UG courses would be taught by professors.
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    Thanks for your replies, I think I might ask for a reference from the head economist just incase I need it.
 
 
 
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