99% of the e-mails I get from students are requests: “Can I have a job?”, “Can I have a recommendation?”, “Can you fill this out for me?”
That’s what I’m here for. My job is to answer those requests. And after all, you don’t get very much without asking for it. Yes, keep asking.
But it’s also worth pointing out how remarkable it is to get an e-mail from a student not asking for anything, like the one I got last week from a student who wanted to know how my summer was going. Wow!
That’s the kind of generous e-mail that gets talked about. In the short run, this student doesn’t get anything. But in the long run, acting generously over and over again with no thought of what you’ll get in return, might very well get you the job you seek.
Even if you never saw that job coming.