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Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out?

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Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2010, 17:14
my boss is an alumni of a top business school (wharton/hbs/stanford). is there any way that he will find out that i have applied to his school? do schools sometimes contact alumni and notify them of applicants based in their area? like for alumni interviews?

i really don't want him to know that i'm applying because i'm scared of my job security. and i'm not asking him for a recommendation either because he probably doesn't think very highly of me and i'm scared that if he found out that i am applying to his school, he would tell them not to admit me.

does anyone know how this works?

i think this is in the wrong forum. can someone please move to "The B-school Application"?

Last edited by username123 on 04 Feb 2010, 09:36, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2010, 18:00
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username123 wrote:
my boss is an alumni of a top business school (wharton/hbs/stanford). is there any way that he will find out that i have applied to his school? do schools sometimes contact alumni and notify them of applicants based in their area? like for alumni interviews?

i really don't want him to know that i'm applying because i'm scared of my job security. and i'm not asking him for a recommendation either because he probably doesn't think very highly of me and i'm scared that if he found out that i am applying to his school, he would tell them not to admit me.

does anyone know how this works?


Are there really people out there that would be that malicious towards someone doing the same thing that they did however many years before? I thought working towards an MBA helped foster a spirit of teamwork and community?

As someone whose current supervisor (a Cornell MBA) wrote over a dozen recommendations and BBMs me before interviews to wish me luck, I can't imagine there would be such self-serving, deluded supervisors who would try to sink your chances. Maybe dissuade you before the fact but saddlebag you now?

Although I must admit, it would be rather ironic if you got to your alumni interview and your boss was across the table.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2010, 18:11
coakleym wrote:
username123 wrote:
my boss is an alumni of a top business school (wharton/hbs/stanford). is there any way that he will find out that i have applied to his school? do schools sometimes contact alumni and notify them of applicants based in their area? like for alumni interviews?

i really don't want him to know that i'm applying because i'm scared of my job security. and i'm not asking him for a recommendation either because he probably doesn't think very highly of me and i'm scared that if he found out that i am applying to his school, he would tell them not to admit me.

does anyone know how this works?


Are there really people out there that would be that malicious towards someone doing the same thing that they did however many years before? I thought working towards an MBA helped foster a spirit of teamwork and community?

As someone whose current supervisor (a Cornell MBA) wrote over a dozen recommendations and BBMs me before interviews to wish me luck, I can't imagine there would be such self-serving, deluded supervisors who would try to sink your chances. Maybe dissuade you before the fact but saddlebag you now?

Although I must admit, it would be rather ironic if you got to your alumni interview and your boss was across the table.


This very odd case should really be the only way that your boss would find out during the application process, provided no one else told your boss (other recommenders, for example)...my guess is that an applicant's right to privacy may be an explicit part of the application, but if not, b-schools certainly realize that they need to respect your privacy. After you're admitted and they do the background check, your boss could find out, but I suspect you don't care at that point.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 01 Feb 2010, 20:48
highhopes wrote:
coakleym wrote:
it would be rather ironic if you got to your alumni interview and your boss was across the table.


This very odd case should really be the only way that your boss would find out during the application process, provided no one else told your boss (other recommenders, for example)...my guess is that an applicant's right to privacy may be an explicit part of the application, but if not, b-schools certainly realize that they need to respect your privacy. After you're admitted and they do the background check, your boss could find out, but I suspect you don't care at that point.


yeah i wouldn't care if he found out after the fact, but i'm just thinking that when i apply, they might check their alumni database and say "hmmm same city, same company, maybe we should ask him if he knows anything / wants to be an alumni interviewer?"

i don't think he would go out of his way to be malicious, but i think if someone were to ask his opinion it would be a lukewarm/mediocre review.

someone please tell me this doesn't happen...
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 02 Feb 2010, 16:01
i think this is in the wrong forum. will a moderator please move it to the main "The B-School Application" forum?
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 14 Jun 2010, 04:49
I think that they only have an alumnus's general consent to be an alumni interviewer, but it's not specific to a candidate. It's the candidate who chooses from a list of potential, willing interviewers. Don't choose your boss.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 13:10
actually i have a similar fear about my current supervisor of approx 1.2 years. she is not a MBA but I am sure the recommendation will not be "Stellar". So, I was thinking of approaching my previous supervisors instead.

how do u explain to the b-school why you didnot choose ur current supervisor/boss? Is that fact held as a negative against you?

it would be great if someone can shed some light on this or give suggestions.

thanks all
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 13:23
pranrasvij wrote:
actually i have a similar fear about my current supervisor of approx 1.2 years. she is not a MBA but I am sure the recommendation will not be "Stellar". So, I was thinking of approaching my previous supervisors instead.

how do u explain to the b-school why you didnot choose ur current supervisor/boss? Is that fact held as a negative against you?

it would be great if someone can shed some light on this or give suggestions.

thanks all


Great question. I would like to know too!
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 14:39
username123 wrote:
pranrasvij wrote:
actually i have a similar fear about my current supervisor of approx 1.2 years. she is not a MBA but I am sure the recommendation will not be "Stellar". So, I was thinking of approaching my previous supervisors instead.

how do u explain to the b-school why you didnot choose ur current supervisor/boss? Is that fact held as a negative against you?

it would be great if someone can shed some light on this or give suggestions.

thanks all


Great question. I would like to know too!


Me too! Is it wise to have a short answer in the optional essay section saying You'd rather preserve job security, or make up another reason such as "former supervisors would be able to provide a more accurate blah blah" or something else?
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 14:50
nice question....I would like to know as well :)
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 06:27
I would love to hear insights/comments on similar experinces to these! Pretty much in the same situ. my self! Thanks!
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 08:55
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username123 wrote:
someone please tell me this doesn't happen...

I can't speak for the three you're talking about, but I know for a fact that Chicago takes steps to ensure that:
1) You are not interviewed by someone in your company, since it's an obvious conflict of interest. Additionally, they let you choose your interviewer, so as someone said, don't choose your boss
2) Your name and background information (employer/undergraduate univiersity/applying/admitted/denied/etc.) are not searchable by alumni or students until you matriculate

I would imagine other schools do the same.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 08:59
Very good news!
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 10:33
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I agree with highhopes. Schools exercise discretion in the admissions process and as long as your recommender doesn't tell anyone, your supervisor is unlikely to find out (at least until the background verification stage). Unless you're admitted, you're not entered into any sort of database that alumni have access to.

Regarding your choice of recommender, I would pick someone who: 1) thinks highly of you and 2) can demonstrate that they have sufficient understanding of your skills and work ethic by providing specific examples. This person does not have to be your direct supervisor. You can ask someone at your work who has supervised you perhaps on a few projects, or even a client.

Depending on your recommender selection and the school you apply to, you might have to explain this briefly in the optional essay, but this is nothing you should worry about. Plenty of candidates do not approach their direct supervisor every year, so your case would not stick out. As long as you have a good reason (and I would strongly advise against volunteering info such as that your boss doesn't think highly of you), no adcom is going to question said recommendation. Job security is perhaps a good reason and one that many candidates use. As an aside, feel free to provide your recommender with a bullet point list of areas you'd like them to touch on in the rec, but do find a recommender who thinks enough of you to write your recommendation for you and not ask you to do it yourself.
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 11:15
ariel wrote:
I agree with highhopes. Schools exercise discretion in the admissions process and as long as your recommender doesn't tell anyone, your supervisor is unlikely to find out (at least until the background verification stage). Unless you're admitted, you're not entered into any sort of database that alumni have access to.

Regarding your choice of recommender, I would pick someone who: 1) thinks highly of you and 2) can demonstrate that they have sufficient understanding of your skills and work ethic by providing specific examples. This person does not have to be your direct supervisor. You can ask someone at your work who has supervised you perhaps on a few projects, or even a client.

Depending on your recommender selection and the school you apply to, you might have to explain this briefly in the optional essay, but this is nothing you should worry about. Plenty of candidates do not approach their direct supervisor every year, so your case would not stick out. As long as you have a good reason (and I would strongly advise against volunteering info such as that your boss doesn't think highly of you), no adcom is going to question said recommendation. Job security is perhaps a good reason and one that many candidates use. As an aside, feel free to provide your recommender with a bullet point list of areas you'd like them to touch on in the rec, but do find a recommender who thinks enough of you to write your recommendation for you and not ask you to do it yourself.



thanks Ariel. Excellent advice.

I do know of a couple of coworkers/friends who were asked by their managers/supervisors to just write the recommendation themselves and they may make v few changes. Why do you so that it is not a good thing? Is there a possibility the schools will sniff it out due to "similarity of style" or language"?

I was thinking along the same lines... to ask my informal technical lead to give me teh recommendation instead (since we work more closely anyways!)
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Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out? [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 11:28
pranrasvij wrote:

thanks Ariel. Excellent advice.

I do know of a couple of coworkers/friends who were asked by their managers/supervisors to just write the recommendation themselves and they may make v few changes. Why do you so that it is not a good thing? Is there a possibility the schools will sniff it out due to "similarity of style" or language"?

I was thinking along the same lines... to ask my informal technical lead to give me teh recommendation instead (since we work more closely anyways!)


They might or they might not, there's no guarantee either way. Even if they don't, in my mind there are other reasons not to do it, e.g.: you're not likely to provide the same level of depth and awareness of your career progression and potential as a more senior person would, you'll be too overwhelmed with your apps even without having that extra burden, it's just not the right thing to do, etc.
Re: Is There Any Way My Boss Can Find Out?   [#permalink] 17 Jun 2010, 11:28
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