As part of my PhD I am required to teach some bachelor level micro and macro economics classes. One of my new students (we only had 3 classes together) approached me with a request for a letter of recommendation for summer research internship.
The student looks like good student, they are active in class and pay attention and asked few good questions. However, I only talked to the student 3 times in my life during the online classes.
This creates a conundrum for me because the student so far made a good impression on me but I know nothing about the students and first impressions can be deceiving. In addition, one should of course never lie on the letter of recommendation so the best I can say about the student is that I recommend them because they are active in the class and ask good questions.
Also, the student said that they need to submit application by end of next week so I will see the student only once more in class and by that time the students won't even submit their first assignment for the class. So waiting here and seeing how the student will do is not an option.
Consequently, my questions are:
- Would there be any possible repercussions for me if I write truthful letter of recommendation, but the student turns out to be very bad at their internship? In another words would that cost me my creditability, are recommendations for candidates in academia taken very seriously?
- Would writing such recommendation help the student at all or would it actually potentially hurt student's chances?
I know this is a topic that was already discussed at academia, for example here but that does not answer my question because the question is about mediocre student whereas this student looks promising.