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Choice of recommender advice

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Author Message
Current Student
Joined: 29 Nov 2013
Posts: 13
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
WE: Project Management (Energy and Utilities)
Followers: 0

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 1

Choice of recommender advice [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2013, 02:35

I need some help choosing whom to select as a second reference. My first is my direct supervisor at work.
For the second I have two choices:

1. Someone else at work.

2. Someone who I helped set up a design and printing business. Now this is the person I would prefer to select as i've worked with him as a freelance journalist too. Also, he's sure to give me a glowing recommendation. However, the only problem is that he has a hotmail account. And his company doesnt have a website. He has an official letterhead though, but recommendation forms are online.

Any suggestions? I'd rather go with number 2 but will it be a problem?

Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 29 Oct 2013
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Re: Choice of recommender advice [#permalink] New post 30 Dec 2013, 13:07
Expert's post
Keep in mind that recommenders should not be peers (except in the rare case that recommendation instructions request a peer rec, as Stanford has done). They should be above you organizationally or, if in the same role, be senior by virtue of longer tenure. If your preferred choice is more like a peer, then probably you should choose the work person.

However, there are a lot of “ifs” that would influence my answer. Would the work person provide a strong rec, with unique and relevant insights? If yes, than that option gains strength in my eyes. If not, then your preferred option grows more appealing. The value of recommendations in the adcoms’ eyes is that they provide fresh insight about you, they help the adcom get to know you. So your preferred option seems good in this regard. The question is credibility – if the adcom were to Google the journalist, would they see credible journalistic credits? If not, it could be a problem.

As you can see, it’s not black and white. The person you prefer seems to have some advantages, but I’m not sure of the credibility factor. So if you are able to answer my questions about the work person affirmatively, that would be the conservative/safe option.

Cindy Tokumitsu
Senior Advisor, Accepted
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