DEH Student Workshop: Recommendation Letters: Ground Rules

DEH Student Workshop: Recommendation Letters: Ground Rules

Publish Date: 
Thursday, March 21, 2024
Department of English & Humanities (DEH), Bachelor of Arts in English, Master of Arts in English

On March 21, 2024, the Department of English and Humanities at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, hosted a workshop titled, “Recommendation Letters: Ground Rules.” This workshop aimed to guide undergraduate students enrolled in ENG 498, ENG 499, ENG 413, and graduate students to understand the significance, components, and strategies for requesting recommendation letters that would be required for jobs and higher studies. The facilitator for the session was Arifa Ghani Rahman, Head and Associate Professor, DEH.

Ms. Rahman began the workshop by explaining the ground rules for requesting a recommendation letter and emphasizing the necessity of it being professional. She started the session with a brief 5-minute exercise and asked students to draft an email to a possible referee. She then gathered feedback before starting her presentation. In addition, Ms. Rahman provided a comprehensive explanation of what a recommendation letter is and stated that it is a formal document from anyone who can endorse your work. She also explained the importance of selecting our referees wisely as they will not only highlight the student’s achievements but also advocate for their character.  Furthermore, she talked about the necessity for the recommendation letter to be customized, rather than being generic. For this, it is essential to provide the referee with as many details as possible. She also emphasized the need for confidentiality in recommendation letters. If not, she clarified, there is a chance of influence, and employers and the admissions committee expect an unbiased, objective overview. 

Finally, she discussed tactics like building trusting connections with possible referees, giving them context and relevant information, and making sure requests are made ahead of time, and with clear details and deadlines. Authenticity, specificity, and compliance with the recipient’s expectations were emphasized.

After that, Ms. Rahman corrected the students’ mistakes from the draft emails they had constructed at the beginning of the session by showing a few samples of requests for recommendation letters that were sub-par. The session was then closed with an interactive question-and-answer period.

Report by Farha Hossain (201013001)