Letters of Recommendation: Watson Fellowship
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program offers college graduates of "unusual promise" a year of independent, purposeful exploration and travel -- in international settings new to them -- to enhance their capacity for resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership and to foster their humane and effective participation in the world community. In writing a letter of recommendation for the Watson program, you will be asked to compete a form with specific questions as well as given an opportunity to provide additional, unstructured comments at the end. The questions are as follows:
1. How long have you known the nominee?
2. In what capacity have you known them?
3. The Watson Fellowship uses the term “unusual promise” to mean a collection of characteristics including resourcefulness, imagination, openness, and leadership. How is the nominee unusually promising in a field of exceptional nominees? Please use examples where possible.
4. What legacy or deep impression, if any, has this student left on you or your campus?
5. In what way do you believe the Watson Fellowship would be a transformative experience for the nominee?
6. What evidence can you provide of the nominee’s investment in the proposed project beyond academic coursework?
7. The very premise of the nominee’s project may be upended as they encounter it “on the ground”. How does the nominee deal with difficult and changing conditions? Do you believe that they will adapt well, even thrive, under unexpected conditions?
8. Do you have any reservations?
9. Please share any additional thoughts that you would like us to know or consider.
References need to be submitted online. Students are responsible for registering you as their reference writer in their online application; once they do this you will receive instructions for how to submit your response.