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SVP
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 1706
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 76 [0], given: 0

Dear All,

I think I'm gone
I requested my former supervisor for a recommendation for K.
He knows my goals & B school stuff for long time, I've briefed him about the process, criticality of the reco & the way it is to be written, BUT he screwed up! He wrote some junk like "just another reco" siting most of the important areas as area of improvement. He also submitted the reco I tried deleting the reco but K says once submitted can't be deleted. Is there any way I can correct this problem? Otherwise I'm sure I'm screwed. I'm feelign bad because I've very good leadership/initiatives examples but he has written "needs to improve".

Ideally, I would like to delete the reco & get it from somebody else, can I contact K adcom & request for delete? OR let it be? Not sure why he did so, I had so much hope

My another receommender is my immediate lead, he knows the process well & he is writing it veyr nicely...

SVP
Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 2304
Schools: Darden
Followers: 40

Kudos [?]: 447 [0], given: 0

I guess the ulimate answer must come from the school - I'm sure they have a policy on how to deal with this type of thing. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't be surprised with either answer. I could understand if they say "once it's submitted it is final" but I could also believe it if they will agree to change/remove it at the request of the recommender.

It's hard to guess at how this sort of thing might affect your application. I have always heard that great recommendations don't help you much because most of the solid applicants have them, but poor recommendations can really damage your application. I hate to bring up such bad news, maybe it isn't true

Have you submitted your essays already? Maybe there is an opportunity to acknowledge some of the "need to improve" areas as things that you would like to gain experience on in business school. For example, if he said you need to improve in leadership, you could acknowledge that you would like to work on that area and reference a Kellogg leadership program that you hope to take advantage of.
Senior Manager
Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 348
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 10 [0], given: 0

Hey Vivek,

I'm not really sure about K, but is there an optional essay section? If so, maybe you can explain your circumstances there, how your reccomender thought it was more of a performance evaluation, so he gave you more critical feedback and improvement tips. As pelihu mentioned, you can address how you are tackling those areas of improvement.

Additionaly, if K allows, submit a third reccomendation and mention it in the additional essay. Again reiterate it was a oversight by your reccomender and that these other two rec's will do.
Director
Joined: 16 Aug 2005
Posts: 946
Location: France
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 15 [0], given: 0

vivek

I think pelihu suggests a great way to go around it. if you cannot have the recommendation withdrawn, (1) address it in the essay and (2) add a third recommendation if possible and add in the optional essay why. I dont think you should make your efforts to withdraw the essay visible to the adcoms, maybe that will force them to look at the recommendation and take it for more than what its worth.....
_________________

I believe its yogurt!

GMAT Club Legend
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5926
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
Followers: 281

Kudos [?]: 1777 [0], given: 7

1. Was this intentional or did he just pick ratings from the wrong side?
2. How do you know what he submitted? Did you not waive your right to review?
3. This is evil, but I'd suggest you walk straight up to him and kick him in the nuts.
4. If you know what the recs say, and you did waive the right, then addressing them in your essays would be a bit suprising. That being said, if it is as bad as you say, maybe you have no choice.

Are you sure he picked needs improvement? Did he pick that on one thing or multiple? Which ones was that picked for?

If it makes you feel better, I waived the right to see mine and I'm nervous that may have happened to me as well for Kellogg. I saw my boss clicking the rating buttons, and I couldnt see what they were but he was clicking on the left side of the screen.

So in my head I imagine this :

Code:
Poor                Good             Strong              Excellent
Leadership                   X                  (  )               (  )                  (   )

GMAT Club Legend
Affiliations: HHonors Diamond, BGS Honor Society
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
Posts: 5926
Schools: Chicago (Booth) - Class of 2009
GMAT 1: 730 Q45 V45
Followers: 281

Kudos [?]: 1777 [0], given: 7

1) The other rec is your immediate lead and is writing something good
2) And your previous boss' rec is the one thats weak.....
3) But it might be wierd to very specificially address the recs on your essays
4) Two very different recs are going to make the adcoms wonder. "This guy said great leadership and this guy says weak?"

You now have an essay that completely addresses the gap between the two recs, and make its about positive improvement and not negative. Here is your outline for that essay

* Worked for Boss X on project Y. [THIS IS THE BAD BOSS WHO YOU ARE GOING TO TOTALLY KICK IN THE NUTS WHEN THIS IS ALL OVER. IF YOU DON'T, LET ME KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE, AND I'LL BE HAPPY TO.]
* I knew that back then my leadership and analytical skills were still in need of improvement, so I took it upon myself to A and B [THIS COULD BE EXTRACURRICULARS, A CLASS, MAYBE SOME MENTORING WITH A FRIEND, ANYTHING]
* In that time, I've moved on from that position and believe I have made very large strides in this regard. I currently work for Boss Z [THE GOOD RECOMMENDER] on project X. I am now functioning in a lead role, something that X years ago, I don't think I could have done effectively. For example, [SOME KIND OF LEADERSHIP STORY HERE OR WHATEVER SEEMS LIKE THE MOST IMPORTANT BASED ON THE REC]
* I continue to work on this issue and have in addition taken on leadership roles in X and Y. Today, I am a very different person from the one I was back then - more confident, more able and more self-aware.
* CLOSE WITH A STATEMENT ABOUT HOW K WILL HELP FURTHER YOU IN THIS REGARD

Thats it. Problemo solved, and you've

1) Addressed whats in the rec
2) Explained away the difference between the two recs so it seems logical that your ratings would have changed.
3) Never actually said you read the recs!
4) Turned something negative into something about personal growth
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5240
Followers: 23

Kudos [?]: 222 [0], given: 0

Vivek, this is some unfortunate news, but luckily you still have some power to manipulate the application process. The way I see it, you have multiple options.

Option #1 is a bit drastic. If possible, you could withdraw your application for R1 and resubmit in R2 with a different LOR before the admissions committee craks open your file. This will inevitably put you in a larger applicant pool, however it will also give you another month or so to approach a different supervisor/colleague or former professor who will present you in a better light. Best to showcase your talents and accolades on the first try, rather than attempt to dispute a superior's potentially detrimental remarks.

Finally, if all else fails, consider a couple comparably ranked elite contingency schools for R2. This way you could control all the tangible aspects of your application because you have already aced the GMAT.

Good luck buddy.
Manager
Joined: 02 Apr 2006
Posts: 158
Followers: 1

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

rhyme wrote:

1. Was this intentional or did he just pick ratings from the wrong side?
2. How do you know what he submitted? Did you not waive your right to review?
3. This is evil, but I'd suggest you walk straight up to him and kick him in the nuts.
4. If you know what the recs say, and you did waive the right, then addressing them in your essays would be a bit suprising. That being said, if it is as bad as you say, maybe you have no choice.

Are you sure he picked needs improvement? Did he pick that on one thing or multiple? Which ones was that picked for?

If it makes you feel better, I waived the right to see mine and I'm nervous that may have happened to me as well for Kellogg. I saw my boss clicking the rating buttons, and I couldnt see what they were but he was clicking on the left side of the screen.

So in my head I imagine this :

Code:
Poor                Good             Strong              Excellent
Leadership                   X                  (  )               (  )                  (   )

Vivek,
I have known some of my friends who have been screwed up by ex-bosses. I agree with Rhyme that if you had waived the right, then you should address that in your essays in a way that it sounds natural and not specifically dealing with a bad reco. IMO, I would not tamper with the adcom about this and just let the issue die. Try to get a third reco and explain your case in the optional essay.
Remember about your "Waive the Right" status and base your actions as even a small hint that you are conflicting the waiver may hurt you.
SVP
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 1706
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 76 [0], given: 0

Dear All,

Thank you very much for your words, I'm feeling better now. I find a point in addressing the issues as if I have absolutely no information about what is written in the reco.

my ex-boss didn't show me that reco but on asking over mail, he marked leadership like area as area of improvement. I'm not sure whether it's intentional since I've good relationship with me, probably he's jealous.

Rhyme, Matt, pelihu, Vij, agsfaltex, gmatmba & others, luckily my lead knows the B school process very well & he is writing recos with specific examples & in justified way, I just had a chat with him. On personal front, he has always appreciated by goals & path to MBA. I just hope that this reco makes it effective. I've one more person in mind for reco, I'm just talking to him this Sunday.

Friends,
Probably, such situation to some extent is unavoidable but I think talking to a person & understanding/preceiving what he'll write in the reco can be a good exercise...

Thank you all & all the best to you all!
SVP
Joined: 31 Jul 2006
Posts: 2304
Schools: Darden
Followers: 40

Kudos [?]: 447 [0], given: 0

vivek123 wrote:

my ex-boss didn't show me that reco but on asking over mail, he marked leadership like area as area of improvement. I'm not sure whether it's intentional since I've good relationship with me, probably he's jealous.

Honestly, it did not cross my mind that he could have done it on purpose. I just assumed it was a mistake. I believe that it is considered standard business etiquitte to only agree to do a recommendation if you plan to be supportive. Otherwise, it would be appropriate to decline if asked. You usually want to find people that will support you enthusiastically, because you definitely don't want a lukewarm recommendation. A negative "recommendation"? That's just a low blow. You've got to question the character of someone that does that.

Regarding Rhyme's concern that you have seen the recommendation, I do not believe that is an issue. I think it was at the Chicago GSB reception that the Adcom said it makes no difference whether you select to see it or not. I think that they treat them the same either way - someone correct me if that is wrong.

If he did do this purposefully, I hope you get in some place great so you can rub his nose in it.
Current Student
Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 5240
Followers: 23

Kudos [?]: 222 [0], given: 0

pelihu wrote:

If he did do this purposefully, I hope you get in some place great so you can rub his nose in it.

Oh yeah, Vivek will have his day soon enough. When all is said and done, you might want to use a little reverse psychology and "thank that ahole superior" for helping you get into an ultra-elite program, a program that will ultimately catapault you light years beyond his unenviable dead end position. Success is always the best revenge.
SVP
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 1706
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 76 [0], given: 0

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