Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend’s Request Is Too Much

DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a part of an organization that requires internship experience. I have a list of places in mind, so I feel set. My minor setback for applying for these internships is my lack of recommendation letters. I keep in contact with many of my professors, but I am only close to three. In recent semesters, I have been so busy with my schoolwork that I forgot to bond with my professors. Thankfully, this semester I am learning from my past mistakes. Many of my professors are close to me, but still not close enough to write my recommendation letters.

I have until next week to get professors to write me letters of recommendation. The three professors I am close with are barely available, so I do not have enough connections. What should I do in this situation? -- Lost Connection

DEAR LOST CONNECTION: Reach out to those three professors anyway. Either speak to them in person and make your request, or send them an email expressing your need and asking for their help. Whether in person or in writing, be clear and specific. Remind them of any positive highlights of you as a student in their classes. Let them know why you want the particular internship and why you believe you are right for it. Thank them for considering being a reference for you.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)