2. Yes, don't be blunt it is implied.
Likely applying to econ Ph.D programs this fall.
Likely RA-ing starting this summer for an econ prof at a ~#50 econ program who has connections to top-5 programs. (I have no prior interaction with this professor. No classes.)
1. If I do somewhat rigorous RA work for this professor for the summer and fall, can I expect a strong rec letter by December, or is that generally too short a time period?
2. Would it be horribly awkward to bluntly ask, prior to RA-ing, "If I do good work for this time period, is it possible to receive a strong rec letter by December?" (I assume generally yes, but this prof first offered the RA opportunity after asking me, out of the blue during our initial meeting, if I'd be requesting a rec letter from him.)
I think it depends on the schools you're applying to. For the top10-15, I am not sure if a letter from 6 months of RA-ing (when generally RA's only begin to be productive after 9-12months) will be strong enough. If it's for lower ranked programs, I think you'd be fine.
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