Posted by: corozmum | November 18, 2010

Academic Referees

When I went to careers service earlier in the year, they insisted I have an academic referee. As an extra-mural student who had only done one paper in 5 years I really couldn’t see the point. What on earth could be said about me? The lecturers had never met me, I was just a name and number at the end of a computer. Careers service said the lecturer could say if I’d handed in my assignments on time, how I’d done and if I was active on Stream (our university’s name for Moodle, the online learning delivery system). I thought rude thoughts!

I emailed a lecturer that I’d done several papers with over the years. He was very positive about doing it for me. So I had him on my cv during the year as I applied for graduate positions. This year I did 2 papers on campus so I thought I’d ask one lecturer who did know who I was. While he agreed to do it, he was not at all enthusiastic and I was reluctant to use him.

I approached a friend who is also a lecturer and asked her how she feels about being an academic referee. She refuses undergraduates and only does it for post graduate. She feels its a waste of time for undergraduates as they are often just a face in a lecture theatre and you don’t get to know them at all. Also employers don’t seem to understand the difference between an ordinary referee and an academic one and ask all sorts of questions she is unable to answer.

It makes perfect sense to me! So I’ve stuck with the first lecturer but will have him out of my cv as soon as I get my first job since graduating.

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