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Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor?

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Manager
Manager
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Status: Writing Essays
Joined: 25 Nov 2011
Posts: 143
Location: Brazil
Concentration: Technology, Finance
GMAT 1: 720 Q44 V47
WE: Information Technology (Commercial Banking)
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 38 [0], given: 27

Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 08:44
Hi guys,

I won't be able to get a recommendation from my current supervisor due to a number of reasons. As everyone around suggested, I will get one recommendation letter from my former supervisor, which was my boss for the 4 years prior to my current assignment. The issue is with my second recommendation letter: should I take it from an even older supervisor (6 years ago) or from a current peer (worked together for the last 4 years)?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Kind regards,
lamanxa.
VP
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Status: Current Student
Joined: 24 Aug 2010
Posts: 1346
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GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V40
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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 10:31
Unless requested, peers are not appropriate recommenders. A boss from 6 years ago is also not appropriate since he/she hasn't worked with you recently. Can you ask a client or indirect supervisor (i.e. boss's boss or a manager in another function or team that you work closely with)?
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Manager
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Posts: 241
Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 750 Q49 V44
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WE: Engineering (Computer Software)
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Kudos [?]: 39 [0], given: 12

Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 11:13
Hi,

What about someone that is both a peer and a supervisor? For whatever the reason, we have a guy on our team that does not report to our manager. In fact, he reports to our manager's manager. His role is as a supervisor.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 11:33
you should definitely ask the supervisor - just make sure to get the person up to speed on where you are now so it's a current look at you. peers are not really appropriate unless requested.
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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 12:48
pinchharmonic wrote:
Hi,

What about someone that is both a peer and a supervisor? For whatever the reason, we have a guy on our team that does not report to our manager. In fact, he reports to our manager's manager. His role is as a supervisor.

Any thoughts?


If you work with someone who is not your direct supervisor but has a higher position than you (i.e. could potentially manage you) then that would be a decent choice for a recommender.

On recommendation forms the person is asked how long they have known you and in what capacity. If someone hasn't worked with you in the last 3 years they really can't speak to your current performance, strengths, skillset, and development opportunities. MBA admissions is a game of "what have you done lately." Remember, your recommenders should have first hand experience of your accomplishments and actions (not simply an update from you about things they never witnessed). If someone is talking about their experiences with you from 5-6 years ago the adcom isn't going to see that as relevant.
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Manager
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Location: United States
Concentration: General Management, Entrepreneurship
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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 09 Aug 2012, 13:05
cheetarah1980 wrote:
pinchharmonic wrote:
Hi,

What about someone that is both a peer and a supervisor? For whatever the reason, we have a guy on our team that does not report to our manager. In fact, he reports to our manager's manager. His role is as a supervisor.

Any thoughts?


If you work with someone who is not your direct supervisor but has a higher position than you (i.e. could potentially manage you) then that would be a decent choice for a recommender.

On recommendation forms the person is asked how long they have known you and in what capacity. If someone hasn't worked with you in the last 3 years they really can't speak to your current performance, strengths, skillset, and development opportunities. MBA admissions is a game of "what have you done lately." Remember, your recommenders should have first hand experience of your accomplishments and actions (not simply an update from you about things they never witnessed). If someone is talking about their experiences with you from 5-6 years ago the adcom isn't going to see that as relevant.


great point. let me elaborate:

- the person is still in my team and is still a supervisor
- the person USED to report to my manager's manager (director)
- for whatever reason, outlook shows him as reporting to my manager.

now there is another dimension to this... his role has never changed but officially he is a peer now. Sure he knows me well enough, he supervises most of us everyday. i wonder if this is something we should just spin a bit since his capacity is our superior.
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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor? [#permalink] New post 24 Aug 2012, 04:31
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[/quote]

great point. let me elaborate:

- the person is still in my team and is still a supervisor
- the person USED to report to my manager's manager (director)
- for whatever reason, outlook shows him as reporting to my manager.

now there is another dimension to this... his role has never changed but officially he is a peer now. Sure he knows me well enough, he supervises most of us everyday. i wonder if this is something we should just spin a bit since his capacity is our superior.[/quote]

Current supervisors are not necessarily needed. Most schools understand that applying to business school can be sensitive and political in some companies. Consulting / IB / PE - it's expected that you leave after a certain amount of time. Most other companies (industry) expect you to be a lifer or to at least have a significant number of years of loyalty. Hence, in some industries, it's expected you WON'T get a recommendation from your current supervisor.

Peers are fine - BUT make sure in the recommendation that the person writes in detail about his role as your supervisor, not your peer. Make sure that that comes across clearly. The recommendation will have more weight that way. It's essential that he clarify his role that he managed / supervised / mentored / coached (whatever you think the appropriate word is) you in your current role.

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Re: Best Recommender - Current Peer or Old Supervisor?   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2012, 04:31
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