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04 March 2010 @ 11:59 pm
Letter to Potential Advisor: Need Advice  
So today, I woke up with the most pleasant surprise in my email: a potential adviser, whose work I (no cool way to say it) WORSHIP emailed me to tell me that she was on the admissions committee and loved my application. She used the word wonderful to describe my writing sample! She sent me a few links and described a few of her projects that sound awesome. She also welcomed me to email her with questions or set up a time to chat over the phone. I do have questions but i am hesitant to overload her with them. I also don't want to ask pointless questions to which I can find answers elsewhere.

I have been working on a response. Seriously, there are few people who I feel warrant this kind of time on an email but this one I want to get just right.

Would anyone be willing to take a glance at this?

Dear Professor HOTSHOT,

Thank you for your email and your kind words about my writing sample. Your remarks are particularly meaningful for me since your work in THE MOST AMAZING PIECE OF CRITICISM EVER WRITTEN: SERIOUSLY was in large part what led me to want to continue my work at XXXX. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my studies at XXXX and to engage my research in conversation the exciting scholarship of the department. I certainly would be thrilled to do so under your guidance. I anticipate that I will attend the program for admitted students in April and very much look forward to meeting you and the other members of the department then. I am quite keen to meet the other prospective students and current graduate students at XXXX, and to learn more about how my work fits in not only with the research interests of the department but also that of my potential cohort.

Thank you for directing me to the XXXXXX Theory and XXXXX Studies website. It seems like this colloquium offers precisely the type of discourse in which I hope to engage. I noted that many members of the faculty listed on the website were also involved in the XXXXX and XXXX Studies housed at XXXX. Do the two work in cooperation with one another? Also, would it be possible for the department to put me in contact with some of your current advisees or other students who may share my research interests, perhaps some involved with the XXXX Theory and XXXX Studies project?

Part of my hope in pursuing my work at XXXX is that I will not only engage my research with that of great scholars but that I will also have the opportunity to work with skilled teachers and therefore develop valuable teaching skills. I am looking forward to a graduate experience that will allow me to TA for literature classes that match my research interests so I can learn to translate my research into curricula, and to become a mentor for other students. I would love to know more about how students are matched for TAships. I would also enjoy hearing your thoughts on graduate advising and mentorship. I know that the department has a well-defined model for graduate advising; this was one of the many features of the program that caught my attention. I would appreciate any thoughts or insights you might add to the information listed on the website.

I am also happy to answer any questions you may have about my scholarship, my application or my interest in the program. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I am available by either phone or email. You can reach me at XXXXXXXXXXX or at XXXXXXX@XXXXXX.

Once again, thank you for your correspondence and your support of my application. Thank you also for all of the insight your work has given me. I look forward to being in contact and continuing the conversation.


intextrovertintextrovert on March 5th, 2010 10:23 pm (UTC)
This looks perfect to me - good questions and a gracious tone. Send!