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I work for a small firm with only two other people (my superiors) on the business side, the CEO and an MD. I have a good relationship with both of them and, naturally, I chose them to write my Recs. To the CEO, I framed my decision as "not 100% sure I'm going to B-school (full-time), but it's something I want to do" and he seemed supportive, e.g. we had a discussion about positioning my candidacy and pros/cons. Recs are already submitted for my R1 schools (Wharton + Chicago) and I waived the right to review.
Recently, I found out that the MD is getting fired, and that I will be replacing her duties and will receive more compensation. MD told me that in their (MD + CEO) admittedly heated discussions, she mentioned that I wasn't a good long-term solution since I was going back to school and the CEO responded "he's not going back to school." CEO also wouldn't give her details on what my new deal (compensation wise) would be. I can think of three reasons why the CEO would say this:
(1) CEO sabotaged (subtly or not) my Recs so that I won't get accepted to the top schools I want to attend; (2) CEO is intending on offering me a deal I can't refuse (in his mind); or (3) CEO was just trying to deflect my role/involvement from the conversation that is somewhat unrelated to the CEO/MD negotiations.
The possibility of (1) has me a little worried. Does anybody have any experience with, or have heard of, something like that ever happening?
Deliberate sabotage via recs does happen, I read in Montauk or somewhere else that it hovers around 10% or above. Probably unintentional sabotage happens even more often.
There's not much you can do about it, you have to have faith in the adcoms that they understand this can happen to the best of candidates and they can at least try to recognize it and take it into consideration.
That's tough, but it sounds like perhaps he was just making a quick response to get her off his back. Unfortunately there's not much you can do about it in any case, but the fact that you are getting a promotion and replacing the other recommender should help mitigate the effects of a so-so rec letter anyway.
This is always a very difficult part of the application process for anyone who comes outside of the traditional MBA feeder tracks. If you truly are a top performer at work and they want you to stay, it is in their best interests to do something like you mentioned (sabotage your recs and woo you with money). All you can really do is hope that the people you work with are gentlemen who are looking out for your long-term future. If you dwell on it much further than that, you will go insane.
I am a skeptical person by nature, and this part of the process has caused a significant amount of stress for me because it is the only part of the process that I have absolutely no control over. Eventually, you just have to realize that and let it go.
Interesting takes from you all, thanks. I have to say that we have a very good relationship and I've never seen him do or say anything that would suggest any ethical lapses. I don't think I will try to ask him about it (especially if he is going to try and throw $$$ at me to stay), or at least not yet.
Nothing you can do about Rd 1 apps. The bottom line is it's a crappy situation and I really feel for you. As far as Rd 2, I would start thinking of alternatives, to be on the safe side. I'm not saying don't use the same person, but you really need to have a brutally open conversation. You'll be able to tell if he will step up to the plate for you in Rd2 or if you still feel uncomfortable - at which point you'll need a replacement.
I think it's a definite possibility that the statement was used for conversational leverage between the CEO and the MD.
If you believe that the CEO has your best interest in mind, I would say that sabotage is the most unlikely scenario you listed. Let's face it. If he sabotaged you, the last thing he would logically do is tell someone about it. Gossip travels.
I'm sure it will all work out for you
It would seem strange to be if I were an Adcom if I read a negative LoR (hypothetically, not saying it happened) from someone's supervisor and then found out the individual in question was just promoted by that supervisor to work directly under them.
If people say this happens as frequently as 10%, wouldn't Adcoms be aware of this possibility?
Thanks guys--I'm feeling a little better about this, now that several of you believe it much more likely it was just a conversation piece rather than his true motive. But sometimes you never know about people despite their front. And I was more worried especially in light of the other things that the MD said transpired.
rhyme and kiddero: the situation is obviously more complicated, but it's not like I'm getting "promoted" in the traditional sense (titles are meaningless at a three person shop) except for more compensation and responsibility, although I was already contributing fairly heavily. Also, since apps are already in, AdComs won't necessarily know about this likely change since it's in the future. But your points are well taken.
So this is what I think happened: It is possible she thought you wanted to do something part time or a weekend course (of course that is lame because you must have told her when you explained your candidacy)
however, you cant do anything now.. so Don't count your chickens just yet!!
Re: Am I paranoid?
25 Oct 2008, 06:23