Many candidates fail to recognize that their recommendations are as influential in determining their admissions success or failure as their MBA admission essays. You can have a fantastic candidacy and application in every other way (application form, GMAT score, GPA, essays, resume, work experience and extracurricular record), but if your recommendations are lukewarm or unenthusiastic in their endorsement of you, this can close the door for an interview and admissions for you. This is particularly true if you are from an over-represented profile in the admissions pool.
In the case of the top-5 MBA programs, the admissions committees want to see recommendations that indicate you are the best among your peers, you have strong analytical and leadership skills, you have some creativity and you are headed for great future success. If the recommendations simply indicate you are “pretty good” or “second best”, your application may be perceived as having a weakness, which could have an adverse impact on your outcomes.
Think about who you want to recommend you. Take early steps to cultivate a strong relationship with your recommendation writers, making sure they are aware of your successes and goals, so that they can reflect this information in their references for you.
Recommendations can serve as game-changers!
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)