Letter of Recommendation for X

Writer’s note: Most expats have been approached by a local acquaintance or employee and asked to write a recommendation letter (or copyedit a thesis for free.) It is an obligation of expatdom, and though few letters are honestly and carefully written, a well composed recommendation can have a profound impact on the subject’s professional future. I offer the following template for those who are struggling for the right words.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Graduate Admissions Committee,

It is an honour and a privilege to offer a wholehearted, full-throated, unwavering recommendation for X, who has worked for our firm as an intern for almost a week! In that time, I have gotten to know X extremely well, seen her cope with enormous pressure, watched her mature in her role, taking on difficult responsibilities that would challenge a person twice her age, if that person happened to be confined to a wheelchair.

As head of the firm, I have seen many interns come and go, but none with X’s ability to think outside the box and send me erotic text messages, proving that she is totally committed to her work and career advancement. Her occasional catfights with prettier office workers illustrate her competitive spirit and ability to overcome obstacles. Surely she will bring that same vitality and unflappable resolve to your venerable campus!

On a lighter note, X is also a dynamite badminton player.

She also makes a mean omelette.

But it is her dedication to the mission of the firm that is most impressive. When we needed to win a major new client, X worked late into the night and never once complained or let deadline pressure disrupt her MSN chats. I know X will impress your faculty with her writing style, which makes up for what it lacks in substance with unique emoticons.

X is a matchless master of mathematics.

She is diligent and vigilant and industrious and hot!

It is hard to do X justice through the written word. I want to sing her praises, so I am including a CD of me doing just that! It was recorded at a KTV one night after work, when X and I decided bond over drinks. X is so good at the dice game and kicking back shots of Jack that I swear she was a hostess in a previous life. 

But perhaps I would be doing X a grave injustice if I did not mention her greatest professional asset: her eyes; those glimmering black globes, twice the size of a Japanese animator’s conception, which so seriously imperil the strict moral maintenance of the traditional employer-intern relationship. Those seductive orbs, with their hyperactive tear ducts, have proven priceless in attracting new clients. When folded in with her ambition – adding a dollop of smarts and a sprinkling of feigned innocence – her eyes make X an ideal candidate for your top-flight graduate program. 

I ask you, Ladies and Gentlemen of the Admissions Committee, to consider X for a full scholarship. After almost a week of working with her, there is not the slightest doubt in my mind that she will flourish on your progressive campus, rising to the top of her class, atop classmates and professors alike!

It is without the slightest hesitation that I offer this endorsement of X, my dear intern, who I reluctantly release into the beastly world of American graduate-level education, knowing full well that when we meet again, years down the line, in an airport departure lounge perhaps, her eyes will be all the more intelligent and worldly, and mine all the more world weary. In an ironic twist, she will pity the man she once worked so tirelessly to impress. And I will see my part in creating another beautiful, brilliant monster.

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