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2008 applicant, worried about recommendations [#permalink]
07 Apr 2007, 04:27
I will be applying to b-schools in 2008 for the first time. As I started thinking about the application process I started worrying about the recommendation. I mean ... asking you manager for a recomm is a career suicide because I think that after I tell him I want to go to a grad school he will not like me any more and he will not send me to all these trainings that he has been sending me to (. I was just wondering... how did your managers react to your recomm request
Since you're planning to apply later this year, maybe you could mention that to him over lunch between now and this fall (after you get your target GMAT score). At least that way he won't be shocked when you request the "big favor" later in the year.
I used a previous supervisor and a close colleague at work (not a manager). There was no chance I was going to ask my current manager; he wouldn't be happy about my plans, it would have affected my bonus etc.
I approached my manager around this time of year and said, "What do you think the value of an MBA or MSF or some advanced degree would be for me on my career track?"
Sort of approach it like you're going to them for career advice, and they'll probably be a little flattered and happy to give you their advice. Just make it sound like it's something you're thinking about, not something you're definitely going to do. So after you get their advice, you can return to them a month or two later and say, "You know, I've been thinking a lot about going back to school, and I've been thinking about what you said, and I'm leaning towards business school. If I end up applying, would you be willing to write a recommendation?"
So kind of ease them into the idea of it, rather than spring it on them like, "Hey, I'm quitting in a year. Can you help me get into school?"
My folks here were awesome. From the day I started they knew I wouldn't stay here forever. I will be one month shy of 5 years when I leave, and my CEO was so happy to help me out - as were my CFO and direct supervisor. Yeah, since I made it clear I was leaving, they haven't been too excited about doing extra trainings, but that's ok.
1) They will give you recos (unless they are true @holes)
2) Then, all of a sudden, it dawns on them that you are a valuable employee so they make up this new fancy position you will get if you stay and postpone the MBA for 1 year.
3) You make it into a nice program and you leave anyway.
Thanks guys for the replies. I don't know if it is worthed "the pain" to ask the managers for recomms. I could ask some lower level colleagues for a recomm with now problem. How would recomms from lower-ranked individuals affect my MBA application?
I was thinking of using the "what if" approach that johhnyx9 explained but I think that my manager doesn't value education all that much so he would be like "oh you don't need an MBA"
Oh i have to figure out this recomm thing ... it is not fair that the b-schools ask for recomms they put us in such a difficult position.
Almost all schools ask for recommendations from supervisors or managers, oftentimes requesting at least one from your current supervisor. Many specifically say that they do not want recommendations from peers (excluding the peer recommendations at Harvard and Stanford of course); so when you say lower-ranked individuals it would be OK if they are still your supervisors but probably not if they are your peers.
I think many people have found that recommendations are a key limiting factor to how many applications they turn in. As the application process wore on, a lot of people said that they wanted to do a few more applications, but didn't because it would be too difficult to get more recommendations. There's no use whining about whether it is fair or not, it's just part of the process and it tests an applications management and teamwork skills.
Many schools do specifically address the fact that some applicants do not want to get recommendations from their current supervisors. Basically, they say it is OK to ask a former supervisor.
I am an associate and I want to ask one senior associate for a recomm, thats who I refered to as lower-ranked individual is that ok? or is he a peer?
Has anyone gotten fired because they asked for a recommendation to leave the company? How important part of one's application are the recommendations?
If you have genuine reason for not asking your manager, then explain this to the adcom. I don't see a problem with you submitting a rec from a previous supervisor and a current peer (or manager of different dept that you work with etc). I can think of plenty of positions where your job would actually be in jeopardy after you indicate a desire to leave, especially in IB etc, so I am sure you wont have a problem.
One of my colleagues, who was a trader, actually managed to get into Harvard by submitting a rec from his college professor, despite them stating they need a rec from your current supervisor. He probably would have been canned if he told his manager he was going to leave in x months, or at best had his bonus given to someone else.
I think that if you don't get recos from supervisors (current and past) your chances may suffer. I don't know how much, but your case won't be as compelling. I also think that you can ask them for recos around July and they should be able to recommend you in time for R1. And I think most reasonable supervisors, while upset about your leaving, should be able and willing to provide recos.
I am also facing the same situation, though I have a little time. I have a complicated work situation at the moment too... long story short- the position was more than a bit misrepresented, and instead of working with all parts of the firm, which was the clear understanding I had, I work under just one person, who doesnt like it when I talk to other folks at the firm- he has specifically said, "if you have to ask someone else, ask me first, and I'll ask them." Fabulous.
In that theme- I'm quite sure he would not like it if he knew of my grad school plans. I also have a friend who asked his supervisor for a recommendation. He has been at Goldman for 3 yrs now and had always received great performance reviews. His supervisor- the day before his application was due- told him she didn't have time to write his recommendation, and he was also due for a promotion this yr - which he did not get.
gosh this recommendations can be such a nightmare. I am honestly scared !!! I have only had one job so therefore I have no choice but to ask for recommendations from my current supervisor.
I don't know how to even start a conversation with my boss about recommendations.