The Student Room Group

Help with references!

Hi 😊

So I have been working at the same company since I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2019. I want to apply to do a master’s degree now but am stuck on who to use as references for my application. I don’t want to leave my job until I know that I have a place, so that makes it awkward to ask my current employer for a reference. I can use my old tutor as one reference but am stuck on the second - at least one of the unis I want to apply to does not specify whether the second reference needs to be academic or professional. So I was thinking of asking my dissertation supervisor but as I completed my dissertation over 3 months in mid 2019, this probably isn’t a great option (fairly sure she won’t remember me). It may be my best option though - does anyone have any suggestions?
Imo you have nothing to lose asking your dissertation supervisor. Even if she doesn't remember you, tbh she'll probably pretend that she does, and dissertation supervisors must write references for so many people that one more won't make much difference for her. Plus, she will have records of your work etc so she will have things to talk about. Anyway yes I would say definitely email her.
Original post by tinycitizen
Hi 😊

So I have been working at the same company since I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2019. I want to apply to do a master’s degree now but am stuck on who to use as references for my application. I don’t want to leave my job until I know that I have a place, so that makes it awkward to ask my current employer for a reference. I can use my old tutor as one reference but am stuck on the second - at least one of the unis I want to apply to does not specify whether the second reference needs to be academic or professional. So I was thinking of asking my dissertation supervisor but as I completed my dissertation over 3 months in mid 2019, this probably isn’t a great option (fairly sure she won’t remember me). It may be my best option though - does anyone have any suggestions?


Hi "@tinycitizen

Hope you're well. You can go ahead and ask your dissertation supervisor as suggested and the other thing I'd suggest is probably asking your manager or team leader at your workplace with whom you have a good/friendly connection. It's better not to ask directly but just spill it indirectly that you might need in a few days and ask if they're ready to provide. Hope this helps :smile:.
Original post by tinycitizen
Hi 😊

So I have been working at the same company since I graduated from my undergraduate degree in 2019. I want to apply to do a master’s degree now but am stuck on who to use as references for my application. I don’t want to leave my job until I know that I have a place, so that makes it awkward to ask my current employer for a reference. I can use my old tutor as one reference but am stuck on the second - at least one of the unis I want to apply to does not specify whether the second reference needs to be academic or professional. So I was thinking of asking my dissertation supervisor but as I completed my dissertation over 3 months in mid 2019, this probably isn’t a great option (fairly sure she won’t remember me). It may be my best option though - does anyone have any suggestions?

Hey!
I understand your dilemma. It's important to have strong references for your master's degree application, but you also want to maintain a positive relationship with your current employer. Here are a few suggestions that might help:

Speak to your supervisor: If you have a good relationship with your current supervisor, you could consider approaching them to see if they would be willing to write a reference for you. You could explain your situation and reassure them that you are not planning to leave your job immediately, but are instead exploring your options for the future.

Consider a colleague: You could also consider asking a colleague at work to provide a reference for you. This could be someone you work closely with and who is familiar with your skills and abilities.

Reach out to a mentor: If you have a mentor or someone you have worked closely with in a professional or academic setting, they may be a good option for a reference. They can speak to your strengths and provide insights into your character and work ethic.

Look for other academic references: You could also consider reaching out to another academic who knows you well, such as a professor or lecturer from your undergraduate program. They can speak to your academic abilities and potential for success in a master's program.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to choose someone who knows you well and can speak to your strengths and abilities. If you are still unsure, you can always reach out to the admissions team at the universities you are interested in to ask for their advice on who would be the best fit for your second reference.

Best Wishes
Priya :smile:
Postgraduate Ambassador
University of Southampton
Hi, I’m in the same boat with no references as graduated a long time ago and time keeps going by more and more.. Im trying to take some free courses on future learn & coursera to get some. to get some. However I did see Soas accepts no references but costs more say 17k. So really considering it all. Really trying to write:blog as well. Good luck & hope helped.

Quick Reply