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Professor that graduated from top choice program - helpful??


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Okay guys - I have a question that I have been searching up and down for an answer to, but I would like to know from anyone's personal experience whether or not it is actually helpful. If someone can point me to maybe a forum or post with this answer also, that would be so great!


One of my LoR writers - a professor with whom I have taken 3 classes, completed a research project, and presented at a conference - recently completed his PhD at the same university that is currently my top choice. He has been helpful in advising me regarding how I should contact certain people, what to put in my letters, and he has even gotten in touch with a couple of his colleagues that also went to this university.


I believe it was very instrumental in my acceptance at one school, including TA, full tuition remission, all of that good stuff. He knows one of the professors there because they graduated together, and was able to introduce me in person at the conference we went to. That was for my second choice school. He emailed the department head at the top choice school, because he knows her well, and gave me some information on their committee meeting (i.e. they hadn't met yet), and I hope put in an additional good word. 


What I really want to know is whether or not his connections to these people have a significant influence on my application decision. I am so grateful for all of the assistance and support I have received, but I can't help but wonder if it's just coincidence or it really does aid in the process. Thanks!

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