home d.tech life How Does Kathleen Write 150 Letters of Recommendation?

How Does Kathleen Write 150 Letters of Recommendation?

| Nathan Au Yeung | nauyeung20@dtechhs.org | October 18, 2019 |

When it comes time for students to apply for colleges, one of the most daunting parts of the process is the Letter of Recommendation. It’s often shrouded in mystery, especially because the students themselves are not allowed to read it. However, in reality, it is quite a simple process that is not as daunting as it initially may seem. Most colleges require two types of letters: the Counselor Letter of Recommendation, and the Teacher Letter of Recommendation. To assist the process, students will have to fill out a Brag Sheet, which lists all their accomplishments and activities throughout High School for the Counselor Recommendation letter, and a Letter of Recommendation form when requesting a letter from a teacher so that more information is provided about a student beyond their academic record. Once a student has completed their Brag Sheet, our Beyond d.tech Counselor, Kathleen Odell, comes into play. 

One of Odell’s many jobs is to help write the Counselor Letter of Recommendation with the student’s @dtech advisor. Together they use the Brag Sheet to get information on each student. While it may seem overwhelming due to the number of letters Odell has to write, she actually enjoys it. “It’s really fun,” Odell says. “I get to learn much more about a side of students that even teachers wouldn’t get to see. I might be going through [a brag sheet] and find out something cool about a student and say, ‘Wow, I never knew that before!’” In addition, Odell wanted to clarify some things about the Letter of Recommendation, specifically about its contents. She particularly emphasized, “It’s a letter of recommendation, so good things will be written. Each student is engaged in different activities, whether it is in academics, something at home or in [their] community, and my job is to highlight the engagement [in those areas]”. 

Finally, as our interview wrapped up, Odell left some parting words of advice. She asserted that it is important to fill out the brag sheet because “it’s a log of all the things that students have done [throughout high school],” and it gives a perspective beyond test scores and GPA. As for juniors, she suggests, “Get to know your teachers. They will be the ones who will write your letters of recommendation, so think about how your teachers will be able to talk about your in-class projects.” There is a lot to consider. 

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