If you’re a student, or have been a student, you need referrals and recommendations. Whether it’s for another degree program, or the “real world” as we like to call it, the same principle holds true: you need connections with other professionals.
It helps when you study with a teacher who is connected to the professional world. If you’re a musician, your private teacher is your primary contact and support. You want to find a teacher with whom you connect on an artistic level, but also can talk to and from whom you can get professional advice.
I have a friend who recently wanted a recommendation from her teacher. This teacher is very well-known in the professional world, and one word from him would certainly help her out immensely. And perhaps that is why he doesn’t give out his recommendation often. As much as we need the support from those around us, sometimes teachers reserve their referrals or support.
I can see both sides of this issue for my friend; she could benefit greatly from his help, but for him to give her his aide might show favoritism. It also takes away from allowing her to make her own path, however hard that might be. And sometimes the struggle of making your own path is part of your own development.
We need to be able to ask for help from mentors and teachers, but also not begrudge them if they are not able to give us a leg up. And if someone can’t, someone else can. We can also help them by offering a stamped, addressed envelope to wherever their recommendation needs to go, or offer a specified criteria regarding where the recommendation is headed.