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'What makes a good recommendation letter?'

August 23, 2015 14:27 IST

"B-schools are looking for applicants supervising/managing experience.

"Some schools might consider teaching and training as work experience.

"To secure good university admission and earn scholarships for under graduate study in USA, students should prove the habit of leadership, should be an engaged citizen in his or her community and demonstrate a solid intellectual capacity."

Overseas education consultant NNS Chandra offers advice on how to pick the right international university.

How to write a recommendation letterIn an online chat with readers every Friday, overseas consultant NNS Chandra offers advice on how to pick the right international education for you.

For those who missed the chat on August 21, here's the unedited transcript:

Goutam Dutta: My son is doing BTech second year in mechanical engineering and intends to do masters in automobile in Germany in a reputed university.

What is the admission process and total cost per year?

NNS Chandra: Hi Dutta, Good choice.

International students must clear basic admission requirement for Germany to pursue Higher education.

Several universities do not require language skills testing or training.

In my opinion it might be a good idea to pick up language to better perform. Cost varies.

I always tell my students to budget 35,000 USD t0 45000 USD overall

Chenthir Kumaran: My daughter wants to pursue under graduation in finance which course which country you would suggest

NNS Chandra: Hi Kumaran, I would encourage you to consider North America first.

Ujjwal Arora: Hello, need guidance. My son is B Tech Mech from Thapar, Patiala (CGPA 6.7) with one year of work exp in Honda Cars.

His aim is MBA from US. His GMAT score is 740.

To have a work exp of 3+ years, he has joined a teaching start-up.

My query is will the work exp of a teaching job help him in getting admission in the US MBA. Regards

NNS Chandra: Hi Ujjwal, generally, b-schools are looking for applicants supervising/managing experience.

Some schools might consider teaching and training as work experience.

Kamal Jain: My daughter in class 10 want to pursue career in science but not sure medical or engineering or pure science , need your guidance

NNS Chandra: Challenging task.

Any day I would encourage a student to see what he or she is good at, what fascinates them, what excite them, and chose a path towards that.

Rather than looking at job prospects. Jobs would be available, always, for those who know what they are doing and if they are good at.

There are several aptitude test available and personally assessments available to help your daughter to choose a direction. Like MBT.

I can conduct MBT and/or some aptitude test. Please ask her to write to me.

Jagannath Rai: My daughter studying in 11th science for medical she has good score in SSC...pls advice me how to get admission in reputed college in US

NNS Chandra: Dear Rai, It is a good question which requires a long answer.

To secure good university admission and earn scholarships for under graduate study in USA, students should prove the habit of leadership, should be an engaged citizen in his or her community and demonstrate a solid intellectual capacity.

Akshay Narvekar: Hi, I had applied to NYU for the MSEE program for fall 2014 while I was in my final year; my profile then was aggregate 57.64 per cent and GRE 303. I had received a reject then.

I have improved my grades in my final year and my current profile is agg. 59.1% and GRE 322 and TOEFL 104.

Do you think I stand a chance to get admitted with my improved grades?

NNS Chandra: Dear Akshay, your GRE improvement is significant but grades are still in the questionable range. No harm in trying again. Still a challenge.

bal bsb: My daughter is in final semester of computer engineering with 88 per cent aggregate.

Planning to opt for either MS / MIS course either at Georgia / California based universities. Could you suggest the costing and other parameters?

I always tell my grad students that they must budget 35 K to 45K per year.

SANJAY KARKHANIS: My daughter is in 10th Standard CBSE. Want to pursue 11, 12 and engineering abroad. Is it right thinking?

If yes where should she go?

She is in DPS at present and in top 10 in class.

NNS Chandra: Sanjay, I like her thinking.

While in, say in USA, for 11 th and 12th, she can access much solid resources toward preparing for University. Be it SAT/ACT training options to write AMC exams etc. AP etc.

I would like to know what is going on her mind. She can write to me.

bal bsb: Mr.Chandra your answer of 35 to 45 K per year is very high in Georgia / California.

We have some information from these universities. Your stats differ in a huge way. We are from Hyderabad.

NNS Chandra: Very good. Please follow your direct experience.

Absolutely. In my experience, my students pay UC Berkeley academic fees would be alone 26, 129 USD for MS Eng and then living cost plus for small expenses.

So I always tell my students to budget. Lot of information is available on internet and also on University website. Please check out and prepare your budget.

Alan George: Hi Sir, when we apply to Universities initially, do we have to enclose the bank statement also, along with academic documents? Pls reply

NNS Chandra: Alan, not required until you are asked to submit them.

N Goel: What makes a good recommendation letter?

NNS Chandra: Admission officers are looking for honest, clear crisp and sharp observations on academic work of the candidate fro their teachers in recommendation letters.

A measure of intellectual curiosity and how that is getting reflected in classroom, in project collaborations etc. With examples. I stick to these when I am recommending.

ma: Do you recommend undergrad community colleges in the US and transfer credit system after 2 years of engineering is a cheaper way to an IVY League college?

NNS Chandra: HI ma, It is a standard/normal practice for students to move from community college to university with credits. But I have rarely seen this happening, I mean moving from community college to Ivvies, though technically is possible.

ma: Do you think that it is easier and cheaper to do undergrad engg courses in Singapore as compared to USA?

NNS Chandra: Yes, it is a true statement.

ASHISH BHALLA: My son is going to UW Seattle for graduation.

I would like to ask that why don't US universities allot the course sought initially itself?

NNS Chandra: Unfortunately, I did not understand your question. Can you please explain?

Ajit Das: My daughter scored 298 in GRE and 100 in TOEFL. She has 3 years of work experience with Wipro after her graduation (B.Tech IT- 76 per cent).

What is her chances in getting MS course in MIS or CScience in USA and which universities should she apply?

NNS Chandra: Dear Ajit, GRE score is a bit challenging. Would require additional data to guide in University selection.

Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: Wim Mulder/Creative Commons


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