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Calling all Kellogg Fall'08 applicants

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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 09:48
Writing a draft for your recommender is against many school's honor code. But editing their grammar and sentence structure is not, especially if *I'm* not the one editing it. Unlike the finance/consulting/business world, in engineering companies, recommenders are much worse at writing rec letters and there aren't people readily available to edit the essays for them. You pretty much have to do everything yourself (other than write the letter for them).

As for BW, I wouldn't give them much credence. That forum is messed up. :)
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 10:07
kryzak wrote:
Writing a draft for your recommender is against many school's honor code. But editing their grammar and sentence structure is not, especially if *I'm* not the one editing it. Unlike the finance/consulting/business world, in engineering companies, recommenders are much worse at writing rec letters and there aren't people readily available to edit the essays for them. You pretty much have to do everything yourself (other than write the letter for them).

As for BW, I wouldn't give them much credence. That forum is messed up. :)


Agreed about not writing a draft. However, I do not expect recommenders to actually remember every single example. So I'm actually planning to give them specific instances to jog their memory, that would provide insight to the adcoms on specific characteristics.

Last edited by mbagal1 on 14 Oct 2007, 11:33, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 10:12
Sorry I kind of agree with the thinking that editting a rec is bordering on unethical. I don't think schools are reading those for anything other than content. As long as they can follow it there is no need to really be worried about the grammar and spelling. An adcom actually responded at an event that if your recommender does not speak english that you need to hire a translater to do that for them, you cant do it yourself. I think that editting is much the same.

I gave them enough information for my recs to understand how the process works, my positioning, key stuff that I have done they can talk about. Thats as much hand holding I am willing to do and beyond that is bordering on violating the ethics of the process.

Schools understand an engineer is going to have a rec that is going to be drastically different than a consultant. This is the first grad school rec outside of an PT engineering masters program either of my bosses have written.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 10:21
I am not applying to stanford, but I found this very useful for guidelines on what's acceptable.

http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/mba/admissi ... ences.html
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 11:22
Interesting debate.

What if the recommenders are insanely busy? October is the time most companies do next years planning and budgeting. I am sure many recommenders are just too swamped to do a lot of "from scratch" work.

Montauk says one can always write a rough draft of the answers and let your recommender edit or remove as much as they want. How different is this from writing a guide for the recommender.

I am on the fence on this issue, but wanted to point out a practical situation when an applicant will have no choice but to rough write the recco.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 12:13
riverripper wrote:
Sorry I kind of agree with the thinking that editting a rec is bordering on unethical.


I agree with river here. Sorry my future Stan-mate, editing/drafting recos is a "no-no" for me.

We already get an opportunity to sell ourselves in the essays. We have all the freedom to write whatever we want and highlight whatever about ourselves. A reco is an opportunity to let others (Who truly want to see you succeed) say nice things about you from their point of view. People that we get recos from are smart people. And they try to do a lot to help you. So we should have some faith in their sincerity and capability.

One of my recommender, for example, knew how important my Wharton application was for me. So he asked around and found that one of his friend (In a VC firm) had written a lot of recos for H/S/W in the past. My recommender talked to this friend and then devoted a lot of time in doing my W reco. I know this because he was giving me updates from time to time. Initially I was worried .. because there were only a few days left and he hadn't submitted my reco. I even said to myself, "Shoulda given him some sample answers for the reco to speed things up." But in the end I realized that he just wanted to spend more time for my reco to help my app as much as possible. I am sure that his reco will have some fresh points to sell me to W. And I am not worried that I haven't seen his final reco. If I get dinged at W (or anywhere else), the reco will not be the reason!

This obviously does not mean that you should not explain (to your recommender) in great details how an MBA from a target school is going to help you and what your goals are etc. You should also remind them of the great things that you had done at work and what kind of a message you want to send through the recommendation. But I won't go beyond that.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 13:44
I agree with river and mneo- guiding recommenders is ok, giving them a brochure (even a 47 page one) is ok. But editing is a little too close to writing it yourself.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 15:33
Stanford explicitly says this on that helpful link:

Quote:
However, the actual content of the letter must be determined solely by the recommender.


I never said or did any DRAFTING for my recommenders. The content is entirely theirs, after I gave them some sample talking points. No content has been changed and I did not write anything for them.

As for EDITING, again, *I* did NOT edit my recommender's letters myself either. I probably should have been more clear in my previous post. My recommenders agreed to let a 3rd party edit the letters for grammar and clarity, and I asked a friend who was good at English to edit it. If that is bordering "unethical", then I don't see how mNeo's example of the recommender himself asking a Wharton consultant for help is any different. Or for that matter, people who don't know at all whether their recommenders asked someone to review their letters with someone else. If grammatical editing is unethical, then having a friend edit your essays for grammatical errors also "borders unethical behavior". People may argue that in the end, you have the final control over what you submit as your essays, even if someone else edits it for grammar, but that's no different from the recommenders having the final say before they submit their letters themselves. Again, I see no problem it that type of editing.

Also, students who are IN Stanford GSB right now told me how the consulting firms hire an admissions consultant to edit everyone's essays and recommender's letters. The admissions consultants even TELL the recommenders what they NEED to do before the admission consultants allow the recommenders to submit their letters. My asking of a 3rd party to edit the recommendation letters, for the sole purpose of making the recommenders' points clear, does not even come close to that common practice stated above. In its original form, everyone who read the letter had NO CLUE what my recommenders were saying, because of how confusing the grammar/structure/sentences are.

With all that said, I have no concerns at all that the process I went through with my recommenders is completely ETHICAL and am ready to defend it if necessary.

My conclusion: Changing content = bad, fixing grammar without changing content = no problem. To avoid any accusations of "unethical" behavior, ask a 3rd party to do it, don't do it yourself.

Last edited by kryzak on 14 Oct 2007, 16:23, edited 2 times in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 15:53
riverripper wrote:
Sorry I kind of agree with the thinking that editting a rec is bordering on unethical. I don't think schools are reading those for anything other than content. As long as they can follow it there is no need to really be worried about the grammar and spelling.


If all the school cares about is the content, then why would editing the grammar (not by the applicant him/herself) be bordering unethical? I agree with your statement about not changing the content, I disagree with editing grammar being bordering unethical, especially not done by the applicant.

Also, "as long as they can follow it"... what if they cannot? Ask the recommenders to find someone to edit their grammar for them, or just have them turn it in as is, completely unreadable? Trust me, after this is all over, I'd be happy to discuss (in private) with people who are curious how "un-follow-able" one of my letters is.

mNeo wrote:
We already get an opportunity to sell ourselves in the essays. We have all the freedom to write whatever we want and highlight whatever about ourselves. A reco is an opportunity to let others (Who truly want to see you succeed) say nice things about you from their point of view. People that we get recos from are smart people. And they try to do a lot to help you. So we should have some faith in their sincerity and capability.


Again, I fully agree. I have faith in what the recommenders said about me, and I have no intent of asking them to change their content. The recommenders have complete freedom to say whatever they want, and are NOT beholden to us, the applicants. But if they cannot get their point across and ask you (the applicant) for help, what difference does "hiring" a translator and asking a 3rd party (for free) make when it comes to grammar editing? Just because there's money involved (hiring the translator) doesn't make it more or less unethical, based on people's arguments.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 15:58
How can editing grammar take ten hours??
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:04
mba2010 wrote:
How can editing grammar take ten hours??


it's that bad. when the entire letter doesn't make sense to a third party, and that third party wants to stay very true to what the letter originally said, it takes time.

(and I may have exaggerated the time it took... I think it was closer to 5 total hours for the letters, and my friend was watching TV at the same time.)

Last edited by kryzak on 14 Oct 2007, 16:18, edited 1 time in total.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:16
I don't see any problem with a 3rd party editing the recommendations. I am probably going to do the same, one of my recommenders is a great guy, and will write a reco with great content, but he has problems with spelling and grammar.

I was also under the impression that you were editing them yourself, so that's probably where the confusion comes in.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:22
bherronp wrote:
I was also under the impression that you were editing them yourself, so that's probably where the confusion comes in.


Yeah, I realized that after I re-read my original post (unfortunately hastily written). Hope this clarifies that *I* did not do any editing myself and absolutely no drafting/revising.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:26
calm down everybody. itll all be over soon.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:35
I'm looking at that light at the end of the tunnel... hopefully it's not a freight train ;)
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:37
When all of my applications are submitted, I'm going to get shitfaced. All this hermiting to write my essays is driving me CRAZY!
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 16:41
mba2010 wrote:
When all of my applications are submitted, I'm going to get shitfaced. All this hermiting to write my essays is driving me CRAZY!


Agreed. Even when I am not working on essays, I am thinking about how I should be working on essays. Its almost as bad.
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 17:23
We've stolen the thread. I am sure that none of us intended to start a blame game, but that's what it kinda became. Kry, first of all, you don't need to clarify anything on these forums. And second, you've explained your situation very clearly .. now get back to your essays.

Back to the topic. So who is done with the Kellogg apps yet? :)
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 17:27
Dabots is right, stress is getting to me... :(

Anyway, I didn't even realize this thread was about Kellogg, my bad!

I filled out Part I, but still having the debate of whether to split my 6 year work experience at the same company over 2-3 entries in the application form or keep them in one (using the 7 line limit). Also debating whether to do on campus or off campus interviews... any suggestions?
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 [#permalink] New post 14 Oct 2007, 19:36
kryzak wrote:
Dabots is right, stress is getting to me... :(

Anyway, I didn't even realize this thread was about Kellogg, my bad!

I filled out Part I, but still having the debate of whether to split my 6 year work experience at the same company over 2-3 entries in the application form or keep them in one (using the 7 line limit). Also debating whether to do on campus or off campus interviews... any suggestions?


I did my 4 year experience (two companies due to acquisition) in one entry. The job was basically the same despite the title change and promotion.

As for interviews, I'm doing mine on campus. I'll be in Chicago for work anyway, so I thought I'd do the interview and class visit at the same time. I feel that it helps me "get my head in the game" prior to the interview.
  [#permalink] 14 Oct 2007, 19:36
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