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how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender?

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how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 06:47
Need some help here, I'd like to apply for 6 schools next year but how do you ask your boss to complete recommendation sections for 6 schools? He did 2 for me this year and told me it was like writing a mini-essay every time.

Thanks!
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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 07:15
Expert's post
We believe in helping your recommender as much as possible - and in the case of writing six recommendations is to write a detailed summary about your background, accomplishments and goals. We generally recommend that you write at least one page of bullet points, but the more organized you can be in this process, the more help you will be. You should also offer to sit down with him and go over your background (an interview) so that this person can write notes down and ask for clarification about specific aspects of your candidacy and their recommendation.

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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 07:19
Short answer: make your boss' life easy.

Try to provide as much help to your recommender, as it is possible without breaking ethical rules.

Combine all questions by subject. There are several common types of questions, and although they may be worded a bit differently from one school to another, the answer in many instances will be the same. Examples are: "History of interaction with an applicant", "Key strenghts", "Key weaknesses", "Reaction to feedback" etc. Explain that it's not writing 5 x 6 = 30 essays, it's much less.

Provide him with some exampls. THere are plenty of those available online, in admission guides, on forums etc.

Discussing "Why MBA" questions is also very helpful. You could explain your motivation and application strategy. For example, "I am going for an MBA to get further career progress in our industry - I think, that I need to develop X, Y and Z skills to make the next step, and I already have an experience of demonstrating skills A, B and C on projects Alpha, Beta and Gamma. etc". The result is that you boss actually knows the logic and knows what's relevant and what's not. Discussing all this stuff you both will mention lots of good examples worth including into his recommendations and your essays.
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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 07:30
thanks guys! I didn't do that this year and I'll definitely have to help out my recommenders for a total of 3x6=18 sections. thanks so much!
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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 07:42
Additionally, you could solicit a recommendation from someone else for half of the six. My immediate supervisor wrote half of my "boss" recommendations, and her supervisor (my boss' boss) wrote the other half of them.

Also, plenty of people apply (and get in) without their direct supervisor writing a recommendation at all! If your recommenders view their task as a chore - instead of paying it forward - you might consider choosing a different set of recommenders.
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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 07:58
Kjar wrote:
Short answer: make your boss' life easy.

Try to provide as much help to your recommender, as it is possible without breaking ethical rules.

Combine all questions by subject. There are several common types of questions, and although they may be worded a bit differently from one school to another, the answer in many instances will be the same. Examples are: "History of interaction with an applicant", "Key strenghts", "Key weaknesses", "Reaction to feedback" etc. Explain that it's not writing 5 x 6 = 30 essays, it's much less.

Provide him with some exampls. THere are plenty of those available online, in admission guides, on forums etc.

Discussing "Why MBA" questions is also very helpful. You could explain your motivation and application strategy. For example, "I am going for an MBA to get further career progress in our industry - I think, that I need to develop X, Y and Z skills to make the next step, and I already have an experience of demonstrating skills A, B and C on projects Alpha, Beta and Gamma. etc". The result is that you boss actually knows the logic and knows what's relevant and what's not. Discussing all this stuff you both will mention lots of good examples worth including into his recommendations and your essays.


I used this method and my recommenders loved it.
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Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender? [#permalink] New post 22 Feb 2013, 08:55
Kjar wrote:

Combine all questions by subject. There are several common types of questions, and although they may be worded a bit differently from one school to another, the answer in many instances will be the same. Examples are: "History of interaction with an applicant", "Key strenghts", "Key weaknesses", "Reaction to feedback" etc. Explain that it's not writing 5 x 6 = 30 essays, it's much less.

Provide him with some exampls. THere are plenty of those available online, in admission guides, on forums etc.

Discussing "Why MBA" questions is also very helpful. You could explain your motivation and application strategy. For example, "I am going for an MBA to get further career progress in our industry - I think, that I need to develop X, Y and Z skills to make the next step, and I already have an experience of demonstrating skills A, B and C on projects Alpha, Beta and Gamma. etc". The result is that you boss actually knows the logic and knows what's relevant and what's not. Discussing all this stuff you both will mention lots of good examples worth including into his recommendations and your essays.


*Yeap. I did this as well. I gave my recommenders an excel file with questions grouped by common theme, together with detailed bullet points that I though they could use.

*Very importantly, I let them know about my intentions months in advance and made sure they understood deadlines. I made a plan with each recommender on a time frame as to when (s)he should send letters and it worked out about one letter every month. Since most schools have deadlines that cluster, it meant that some schools had received recommnedations many weeks before their deadline.

* I see a lot of people in this forum asking how to find the questions the recommenders need to answer. They claim that as applicants they cannot see them. So, here is something that you can do. Create two fake accounts, then login as an applicant with one, and put the other fake address as the email of the fake recommender. Check your second fake email and voila!

* Forgot to add that once the application process was done, I bought each of my recommnders a nice bottle of wine.
Re: how do you manage 6 letters from 1 recommender?   [#permalink] 22 Feb 2013, 08:55
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