Waiting patiently in the hallway before her first and last visit to office hours, junior Michelle Simpson hoped her professor would get to know her well enough during this brief meeting to write her a strong recommendation letter.
“Hopefully this will do the trick,” Simspon said, quietly preparing how she would introduce herself and her career goals. “I really need a good recommendation letter to get that McKinsey internship, but I don’t have time to come to these office hours more than once. This is when I’m supposed to get lunch.”
Simpson reportedly planned to ask the professor about his research and pose a thoughtful question about a recent class reading. “That should put me over the edge for a glowing recommendation,” she assured herself. “Right?”
“I think he should be able to get a clear sense of my character, my academic interests, and my career aspirations from this meeting,” Simpson added, debating whether she should ask for the recommendation letter during this visit or over email in a few days. “I just hope that 10 minutes of face time is enough for at least a page of praise. He probably won’t be able to include everything he learns about me.”
After the meeting, Simpson returned to her habit of sitting in the back of class and never engaging with the professor again.