January 5, 2014
Dear Mr. Smith,
I am writing this reference letter in support of Ms. Josephine Sykes, who is applying for a position as a Software Engineer in your company. I got to know Josephine as a student in Math 310, a third-year undergraduate class that I taught at Simon Fraser University during spring semester 2012.
Josephine received a B+ grade in my course, which placed her among the top 30% of students in a strong class of 150. But her grade doesn't tell the whole story. She had a bit of a rocky start with a weak mid-term grade, which I attribute mainly to some gaps in her knowledge from prerequisite courses. However, she asked to meet several times outside of class to remedy the situation, and she quickly made up for lost ground, subsequently obtaining nearly perfect grades on her remaining homework and final exam.
Josephine is one of those students that immediately stood out from the crowd. She was a frequent contributor during lectures, and she often came to speak with me after class to clarify details or elaborate on difficult concepts. She really impressed me with her insightful questions and comments. She has a real knack for penetrating to the heart of a problem and has a genuine interest in delving into a subject significantly beyond the course material.
Indeed, Josephine approached me near the end of semester about doing a summer internship in my department, and I was able to put her in touch with one of my colleagues whose mathematical interests were a good match. This project was a great success and I was totally impressed with what she achieved after hearing her present a poster in my department's annual research symposium in August 2012. Josephine kept in touch with me over the remainder of her studies at SFU, occasionally dropping by my office or sending a brief email to update me on her progress. I was thrilled to hear that she graduated with her BSc on the Dean's Honours List, which is an impressive achievement since she was balancing her academics along with all the demands of being a varsity athlete on the SFU swimming team.
Josephine is an outgoing, conscientious and hard-working individual with very strong analytical and problem-solving skills. I can say with confidence that she would be an excellent addition to your team. She has my highest recommendation.