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Applying for Masters, but completed Undergraduate 5 years ago. References? Watch

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    I have a problem with references. I completed my undergrad 5 years ago and am no longer in contact with any staff or current students at the university. Also, I wasn't very confident as an 18-21 year old and I rarely spoke to my lecturers outside of what was required. All of them liked me at at the time, because I was a good student and I was always on time etc., but I didn't stand out in any way. I feel like very few if any of them would actually remember me at all. Maybe if I prompted them. My name is unusual, so that might jog their memory lol.

    Is it usual to contact people from 5 years ago to ask for a reference, when I didn't particularly do anything at university aside from get a 2:1 and not cause any trouble? I'm struggling to think of anything they'd be able to say about me aside from that, because of how long ago it was and how little I stood out. "She came to the lessons and she got average grades" doesn't sound that great.

    Soon after I graduated, I also tried contacting 3 of my tutors (one being my dissertation supervisor) for a reference for a job but none of them replied to my emails. These were the ones who I was closest to, so I would be contacting them again for these references. If none of them reply, what should I do? :s
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    (Original post by lasthomelyhouse)
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    I'd get your transcript from the uni, and then send it, with as much detail as you can give about main modules and staff, and see if they can pass your reference request on. The transcript should give the referee enough to go on and you can chase the admin section without annoying the referee.
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    5 years is probably not that long, and your former tutors should be obliged to provide a reference for you, unless they have all retired or moved on to different institutions. If that is the case, professional references should be acceptable for your application.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    I'd get your transcript from the uni, and then send it, with as much detail as you can give about main modules and staff, and see if they can pass your reference request on. The transcript should give the referee enough to go on and you can chase the admin section without annoying the referee.
    That's a good idea, I never thought of that. Thank you.
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    (Original post by chaotic1328)
    5 years is probably not that long, and your former tutors should be obliged to provide a reference for you, unless they have all retired or moved on to different institutions. If that is the case, professional references should be acceptable for your application.
    Do they prefer academic references? Will I have a better chance of getting in, if I try to get academic references rather than professional? Actually which do you think would be better, a recent professional reference or an old academic reference?
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    (Original post by lasthomelyhouse)
    Do they prefer academic references? Will I have a better chance of getting in, if I try to get academic references rather than professional? Actually which do you think would be better, a recent professional reference or an old academic reference?
    Ask them, or one of each. A recent professional reference is fine if the referee understands they need to focus on your academic style skill sets. So presumably you don;t write essays at work, but if you've been writing reports, doing analysis, delivering to deadlines etc they are all directly transferable and that's fine.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    Ask them, or one of each. A recent professional reference is fine if the referee understands they need to focus on your academic style skill sets. So presumably you don;t write essays at work, but if you've been writing reports, doing analysis, delivering to deadlines etc they are all directly transferable and that's fine.
    Ah okay. I don't really do any of those things at work, so maybe it's best to avoid that. I'm going to an open day at my top choice in a few days, I'll ask them and see what they say. Thanks for your input.
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    (Original post by lasthomelyhouse)
    Do they prefer academic references? Will I have a better chance of getting in, if I try to get academic references rather than professional? Actually which do you think would be better, a recent professional reference or an old academic reference?
    To be honest, I think you might be overthinking the situation a little. Unless you are applying to Oxbridge or some of the 'better' London Colleges, or applying for scholarships, stock references, either academic or profession, would get you into most Taught Masters' if you meet the entry requirements.

    I applied to two unis, was given offers from both, for a taught master's last year, and my references were from a former classmate and a former tutor (I graduated in 1994). I had a non-relevant first degree for both courses, and one of the offers was from a Russell group. You will be paying them good money, and more than likely they will be looking for reasons to accept your application rather then the other way round.

    Contact your former uni for the references, and if they do not respond, just submit two professional references. I am sure that you will do well and be accepted either way.
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    (Original post by chaotic1328)
    To be honest, I think you might be overthinking the situation a little. Unless you are applying to Oxbridge or some of the 'better' London Colleges, or applying for scholarships, stock references, either academic or profession, would get you into most Taught Masters' if you meet the entry requirements.

    I applied to two unis, was given offers from both, for a taught master's last year, and my references were from a former classmate and a former tutor (I graduated in 1994). I had a non-relevant first degree for both courses, and one of the offers was from a Russell group. You will be paying them good money, and more than likely they will be looking for reasons to accept your application rather then the other way round.

    Contact your former uni for the references, and if they do not respond, just submit two professional references. I am sure that you will do well and be accepted either way.
    That's really good to know, thanks I wasn't sure how strict it would be.
 
 
 
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