Considering a graduate or professional school? Start researching graduate or professional programs and start developing relationships with your professors or TA’s to get to know them and to secure educational references. Consider taking one or two classes under the same professor or TA. Visit during their office hours and gather details about them and their research. Ask what prompted them to pursue their research. Also, allow them to get to know you and your areas of interest.
Once you have completed the class or classes and while YOU are fresh in their minds, ask if they would serve as a reference for you. Be prepared to share a copy of your current resume and something about you to jog their memory (your grade or any other relevant details about you). Educational references could address your performance in class, project development and presentation delivery.
In addition to getting educational letters of references from your professors and TA’s, consider getting references from former supervisors and personal or character references. Prior supervisors could share details about work performance and team effort. Personal or character references could be advisors for student organizations or community leaders to discuss your active involvement in activities and leadership qualities exhibited in various settings.