All students must obtain letters of recommendation from faculty members, teaching assistants, and/or employers in support of their application for admission to the hospital portion of the medical technology program. Recommendations should typically come from those who are familiar with your performance in science courses, particularly biology and chemistry.
A useful strategy for securing letters of recommendation is to approach an instructor mid-way through a course in which you are doing well. Ask if he or she could write a letter of recommendation on your behalf following the completion of the course. If the instructor says yes, provide the following necessary information for writing the letter:
- Purpose of the letter (i.e., to gain admittance to a school of MT)
- Deadlines by which the letter must be received
Speaking to an instructor during the course increases the likelihood that s/he will be able to make specific comments on your behalf. Asking an instructor a year or so after you have taken a course often results in a bland letter focusing on whatever grade you received in the course. The grade is self-evident—it appears on your transcript. The strongest letters comment on such attributes as initiative, timeliness, neatness, intellectual ability, involvement in the class and/or material, ability to work independently, the validity of laboratory work, etc. Requesting a letter during a course also tends to increase the instructor’s awareness of you as a student and avoids the often difficult task of tracking down the instructor a year later. This may be particularly difficult with teaching assistants who often graduate and change mailing addresses.
Your application and recommendations should be to the hospitals well before the actual deadlines. The ability to submit an application in a timely fashion is a good indicator of your motivation and professionalism. It is your responsibility to know the deadlines.