I'm planning on applying to a few schools for round 2. I had picked out my recommenders in September, and had meetings with both of them. I chose two of my former direct supervisors, one from each of the non profits I worked at. In those initial meetings, I had given them a little guidebook to writing the letters, and provided one page summaries for the schools I'm applying to.
In the last two weeks, one of my supervisors had gotten laid off from the nonprofit where we both worked at. She's been MIA--via phone and email. I'm concerned because I've been trying to schedule a follow-up meeting to go over any questions or concerns she may have, and she's completely unavailable. At this point, should I go on to a back-up recommender?
I'd definitely pursue a back-up recommender just in case. Good LORs are an important component of the application, and you want to be sure you've got the best available. If your back-up can provide a solid recommendation on time, and, if necessary, you can explain on your app why you selected her/him, then those are your most important considerations.
If you do get in touch with your original recommender, you might try to assess whether her feelings about the lay-off would negatively affect her LOR. If she is still willing to write an LOR and you believe it will be a strong one, then you can decide whether to choose her or your back-up.
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