By Rev. Samuel Githinji
I find that more and more students are asking that I be their referee. I am afraid that what I say may not mean much if I do not know the person well and yet to recommend the applicant with reservations defeats the purpose for their putting my name down as one who can tell about them.
Unless for exceptional cases I can say very little about:
-Academic and /or professional achievements – as demonstrated by grades received, rank in class, positions held, and exceptional achievements, awards and distinctions.
-Academic potential – quality of analytical skills; ability to think critically, ability to apply skills and knowledge, judgment, originality, initiative, determination and ability to complete projects within an appropriate period of time, research contributions.
-Communication skills – as demonstrated by an ability to read, write and speak clearly in English; community involvement and other relevant extra-curricular activities.
Since you will need referees in most applications, you need to grab every opportunity to make yourself and your strengths well known to the said referees while you are here. You also need to choose referees who are best placed to answer the questions that may be asked.
Rev. Githinji is the University Chaplain