By Susan Gainen
The best letter of recommendation speak to intellect, work ethic, personality, and why you are particularly well-suited for a job. It also gives an employer a sense of who you are, and what it might be like to work with you. Speaking up in class last year (or five years ago) with no further contact makes it impossible for anyone to write an effective letter on your behalf.
You can't begin too soon to get to know the people on your faculty whose work intrigues you and whose minds challenge you.