The BEST Letter of Recommendation EVER Written
Two former Navy Seals sit at a table across from each other in low light. They know each other, there is a feeling of mutual respect and camaraderie. One of them grabs a microphone, picks up a letter, and begins to read.
“It is with absolute conviction that I give my strongest possible personal recommendation to Jonathon Y Kim’s selection for medical school. There is no one more qualified to make this recommendation than me, as Jonathon was under my direct supervision as a US Navy Seal Combat Medic while I commanded Seal Team 3 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
He continues to read, describing the brutal environment that his fellow Seal, Jonathon, or Jonny as he is referred to now, endured to demonstrate his invaluable presence to the team. He goes on and the story illustrates an eruption of gunfire, combat trauma, and how Jonny provided medical care to his fellow teammates and organized an evacuation earning the Silver Star Medal for his service. Not only do the actions depicted in the letter describe the events that occurred, but the words used cut deep into the reader as if they were there experiencing this situation alongside the people who experienced it first hand.
The commander goes on to say “This level of heroism and bravery was not an isolated incident” and “with blatant disregard for his own safety…Jonathon moved to the fallen Seal, stabilized the patient, and organized the evacuation” under heavy sniper fire. Following this act, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
“Jonathon’s bold courage, calm decisiveness, and intrinsic desire to provide care to the wounded under the most intense urban combat imaginable continued for our entire deployment”.
“I am completely confident he will excel both in school and the field, and will make not only Harvard proud, but also provide the finest and most compassionate medical care to every patient blessed enough to come under his charge. I would be more than happy to answer any questions about Jonathon Kim and his unlimited potential”.
Jonny Kim is a US Navy Seal, Harvard Medical School Doctor, and NASA Astronaut. An impressive resume at every level with a 3.98 GPA, high test scores, multiple honors — the list goes on in addition to reaching the pinnacle of every field he has entered. The letter described above brings all of those accomplishments to life in a way that gives pause to the reader.
When you read these words you immediately understand who Jonny is, and what he stands for. This one page letter is a testament to this person’s past, present, and future. Harvard accepted Jonny and he became a doctor. NASA has trained him to be a part of the first team that returns to the moon in over 50 years. Jonny is a part of this experience because those who read this letter were enthralled with his potential and value he brings to every team, organization, and experience he is a part of. The way his previous experiences and character are captured in this letter propel him to his next challenge by giving the application committee all the evidence they need for his acceptance in their program.
Who is someone you know who is capable of writing a letter of recommendation like this? Whoever comes to mind, why is it that person? What experiences in your life demonstrate your character in challenging circumstances?
Not everyone has lived a life like Jonny has. But every Pre-PT student has had valuable experiences and conquered challenges because that is what it takes to get to the point of applying. Reflect on those experiences and the connections around you. You will find that the most impactful experiences are the ones where the people around you made all the difference in the outcome of those projects.