×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Reference for coworker for Grad School
3

Reference for coworker for Grad School

Reference for coworker for Grad School

(OP)
Have a coworker who I manage. He's going to grad school for PMP. He asked me to be a reference for him for his grad school application. He drafted one up using ChatGPT (with spelling errors too) and gave it to me to sign. He extremely glorified his experience at the company and isn't an accurate representation of his experience or the work he accomplished. In fact, he's not a very intelligent person and often dishonest. I'm surprised he graduated an engineering college given his lack of knowledge of engineering, math, and physics. My direct boss saw the reference letter and told me if I was to sign it, do not sign it as an employee of the company but instead to sign it as a personal reference. I feel very comfortable about the whole thing. I also don't want to ruin my relationship with the person and come across an A-hole. I would try to draft my own letter for him, but honestly, I don't have anything positive to say. He's a terrible employee. Any suggestion how I should handle it?

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Anytime I needed a reference letter it wasn't one I drafted. I asked the person and if they accepted they sent it directly. Maybe you can suggest that?

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

You seem to indicate you've got an alright relationship with the guy, maybe sitting him down and being honest with him is what is required. Let him know that it's clear he didn't write his letter himself, and that you don't necessarily feel comfortable signing a letter that appears to be an inaccurate representation of his experience and qualifications.

If he doesn't take that conversation well, then it's likely not someone you should be providing a reference for anyway. Right?

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Be honest and explain what you would say or why you can't recommend.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

if he is that terrible of an employee that you can't write some sort of reference letter (and its just for grad school, not for another employment, so could be quite simple and short), then I question why he is still employed with you. particularly if dishonest.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

I can't imagine many worse attributes for someone who is going to be project manager than to be dishonest.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

(OP)
If it was up to me I would have fired this employee a while ago just due to the cost and time of correcting his mistakes and his dishonestly about his timesheet and how long it takes him to do task. Or for the fact whenever he WFH, he doesn't do much work. But it's not up to me to fire him, nor did I or my direct boss hired him. He was someone we "inherited" when my boss and I joined the company last year. He's also a bit delusional in his qualification and skills. Talks a big game about his skills and experience (only 3 years out of college) but can't back any of it up.
Since it's just for grad school, i quickly wrote up a quick recommendation that wouldn't require me to verify any of his skills or qualifications. Hopefully he's happy with it. If it was for employment else where, I would never recommend him.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

you need to give him some tough talk about honesty, work habits, etc - and clearly point out its going to catch up to him at some point, and it will not go well for him. and you probably should not allow WFH for him. and start documenting his deficiencies, issues, etc so that you can back up to HR a future decision to fire him if needed.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

If "PMP" refers to the Project Management Professional certification then he's applying to take a test and possibly a 40-80 hour refresher course, not grad school. Regardless, PMP is a mid-career cert he cant register for until convincing PMI that he has lower-level certs/training and ~10 years managing projects. If the acronym is correct and he's lying about his experience then I'd suggest he pursue the entry-level CAPM cert. I'd also inform him that you will followup and if certified PMP, he will be fired for-cause and PMI notified of the fraud.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Where are you seeing 10 years of experience required to be eligible for the PMP?

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

2
Sounds like your answer for any reference should be a hard no.

Or else write an honest letter and send it.

Don't enable useless people to fail upwards.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

(OP)
Sorry, it wasn't a PMP. it's PMMP. Project Management Masters Program. It's at some small local college I've never heard of before.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Quote (DirtSmuggler)

Hopefully he's happy with it.

Hopefully he'll never find out the contents. A reference letter should be sealed by the sender and opened by the school/employer receiving it. The applicant should never see it.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

(OP)
He's requesting I send it to him because he's suppose to submit it with his application. I have no idea if that's true.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

I've had things like that before, but the protocol was for the sender to seal the envelope and sign over the sealed flap to make sure the applicant didn't open and read it.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

(OP)
He wants me to email it to him.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

so go to the school web site and see what they say for reference letter submittals.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Whole thing sounds fishy. It's either not a reputable institution (Project Manager Masters Program and a small school you've never heard of sorta alludes to that, too) or he's trying to pull something over on you. Or, those seem the two most likely scenarios to me given your description of this...his?...character.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

Quote:

Where are you seeing 10 years of experience required to be eligible for the PMP?

There's a tilde before 10, its an approximation. IIRC the requirement is five years as a dedicated PM but the instructors I had for the initial refresher & subsequent PDHs recommended waiting until ~10 if you've been in a dual role as both PM and engineer to ensure that PMI would approve.

IME schools usually have a dedicated email box or website so recommendations can be uploaded directly without being handled by the not/recommended.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

I don't think threatening to fire someone for fraud based on approximations or recommended estimates makes sense. Per the PMI, the requirement is 36 months of project management if you have a 4 year degree & the CAPM.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

This individual's history of honesty, or the lack thereof, makes one wonder about all the details provided on this graduate program.

RE: Reference for coworker for Grad School

I wouldnt threaten if the employee legitimately qualifies. Asking an employer to forge qualifications tho is fraud and jeopardizes the reputation and livelihood of the employees and company, zero-tolerance is best IMHO.

Its unfortunate for the profession but PMI keeps lowering standards and enabling frauds to become certified PMP. I've encountered many who had never done project-based work nvm led projects or knew anything about generational data-analytics. There's no reason not to require lower-level certs, every junior PM has multiple yet PMI refuses to require them and keeps lowering standards otherwise.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close