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How to obtain a reference after time out? watch

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    Hey there.

    I am currently in the embryonic stages of applying for masters courses, however having graduated in 2014 I am not certain of how to go about obtaining an academic reference. The length of time since I was at university, coupled with the fact that I was not particularly proactive with regards to maintaining a meaningful relationship with anyone in my department is worrying me slightly.

    Is there anyway of contacting an academic in the department that would not seem inherently selfish or do they expect former students to do so? I was thinking of reading through some current research of the individuals that operate in the fields that I am most interested in and using that as a means of approaching them. I do not want them to feel as if it is simply some pretense that I have used to ultimately gain a reference however. I regret not being more active during my undergraduate degree, but that ship has sailed. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
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    2014 is hardly a long time ago, it's perfectly normal to contact academics for references in any case, and after such a short time away it's really not unusual. Don't worry about that aspect, and you don't need a 'pretext' - just ask.
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    As above, academics are okay about reference contacts, promise.

    Just email them and explain what you have been doing, what you are now planning and 'would you be okay if I named you as a referee' etc.
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    (Original post by sj27)
    2014 is hardly a long time ago, it's perfectly normal to contact academics for references in any case, and after such a short time away it's really not unusual. Don't worry about that aspect, and you don't need a 'pretext' - just ask.
    (Original post by returnmigrant)
    As above, academics are okay about reference contacts, promise.

    Just email them and explain what you have been doing, what you are now planning and 'would you be okay if I named you as a referee' etc.
    Thank you both for the rapid responses, they are certainly encouraging. What exactly would I expect them to write about me academically if there exists the possibility of them having no recollection of who I am?
 
 
 
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