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Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories

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Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 13:05
I haven't seen too many of these listed in the forum, so I figure I'd start one in hopes this helps people deal with the panic I'm going through now. LOL.

Let's hear them!

My recommender submitted the a letter of rec to the wrong school (wrong school name with the wrong questions).

How do I fix this? I heard that most schools allow you to send an email "revision", which gets attached to your application. But that also means that they will see your previous submission, and which I think will cause them to raise their eyebrows. To make matters worst, most schools ask the same questions in the applications, so people tend to reuse the recs. Sending a revised version with just changes in the structure (copy+paste) to adhere to the question for that particular school seems silly.

What are your thoughts?
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 13:18
How about a letter of recommendation for a 40+ year old candidate that included 'maturity' under his 'areas of improvement'? Does that count?
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 13:57
Ouch

rhyme wrote:
How about a letter of recommendation for a 40+ year old candidate that included 'maturity' under his 'areas of improvement'? Does that count?


What do you suggest to address the specific situation listed above?
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 14:24
bigfernhead wrote:
Ouch

rhyme wrote:
How about a letter of recommendation for a 40+ year old candidate that included 'maturity' under his 'areas of improvement'? Does that count?


What do you suggest to address the specific situation listed above?


I'd probably update the school with the correct document. It isn't going to reflect poorly on you in any way, and this sort of thing happens all the time. I personally think it better to correct it than to not.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 15:54
bigfernhead wrote:
Ouch

rhyme wrote:
How about a letter of recommendation for a 40+ year old candidate that included 'maturity' under his 'areas of improvement'? Does that count?


What do you suggest to address the specific situation listed above?


Grow up.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 15:59
Seriously?

milias wrote:
bigfernhead wrote:
Ouch

rhyme wrote:
How about a letter of recommendation for a 40+ year old candidate that included 'maturity' under his 'areas of improvement'? Does that count?


What do you suggest to address the specific situation listed above?


Grow up.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 07 Dec 2009, 16:40
bigfernhead wrote:
I haven't seen too many of these listed in the forum, so I figure I'd start one in hopes this helps people deal with the panic I'm going through now. LOL.

Let's hear them!

My recommender submitted the a letter of rec to the wrong school (wrong school name with the wrong questions).

How do I fix this? I heard that most schools allow you to send an email "revision", which gets attached to your application. But that also means that they will see your previous submission, and which I think will cause them to raise their eyebrows. To make matters worst, most schools ask the same questions in the applications, so people tend to reuse the recs. Sending a revised version with just changes in the structure (copy+paste) to adhere to the question for that particular school seems silly.

What are your thoughts?


You should send an apology and get your recommender to send the right letter. Easy. No sweat. Not your mistake. Just make sure his new response is correctly tailored to their questions.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 02:07
Most schools let you delete the recommender/recommendation from your application even after it is submitted. If your current recommenders are not enthusiastic, then select a new one
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 05:48
Thanks for your tips.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 07:24
bigfernhead wrote:
Seriously?


I think he meant in response to the 40+ year old, not to your situation.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 07:47
radicalchange wrote:
Most schools let you delete the recommender/recommendation from your application even after it is submitted. If your current recommenders are not enthusiastic, then select a new one


You probably meant that you can change your recommender in the app system before he/she submits his/her recommendation on your behalf, right? Because once the recommendation letter is submitted by the recommender, you can't retract it anymore. At least that's how I remember it.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 08:32
My key rec went on vacation (unknown to me!) the week before H and S were due. He got back Oct 6th, rushed a letter to S and was three weeks late on H.

I was sick about it.

Posted from my mobile device Image
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 08:48
I prepped my recommenders in August for R1 providing them with tons of information. My key reco vanished from August to November (no email, no cell, no office line) pushing all my apps to R2. Thankfully, he's around and successfully submitted this week.

I did use the extra few months to visit schools (H/Columbia) that I wouldn't have if I applied in R1....
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 08 Dec 2009, 09:59
Hi Nink,

Some of the portals for schools I applied to had an option to delete the recommender after the application and prior to the official application review. It varies from school to school I guess.




nink wrote:
radicalchange wrote:
Most schools let you delete the recommender/recommendation from your application even after it is submitted. If your current recommenders are not enthusiastic, then select a new one


You probably meant that you can change your recommender in the app system before he/she submits his/her recommendation on your behalf, right? Because once the recommendation letter is submitted by the recommender, you can't retract it anymore. At least that's how I remember it.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 17 Dec 2009, 20:04
Don't know if this is a "horror" story but...

I asked the Chaplain I had in Iraq to be a "wild card" 3rd recommender for HBS and Stanford. He was in a unique position to write about the work I did in Iraq that wasn't part of my job duties or responsibilities, but specifically did to raise the morale of my Marines. It was a "wild card" because i knew the risks involved. A) Since he's a "chaplain", the adcoms could assume that he would write the nicest thing because as a spiritual adviser, he may be reluctant to write something negative about me. B) I've seen some of the sermons he's given, and while sometimes they're pretty articulate and somewhat inspirational, some of them are downright basic and elementary. I wouldn't know which Chaplain personality would be sitting behind the computer when he writes the recommendation.

The upside, of course, would be huge. I feel that the story he would be able to tell, from his unique perspective, if told effectively, would be extremely compelling.

So....

A few days ago, around 11am, I check my Rec status. He hasn't started. "That's fine" I thought. "He's got plenty of time."

At around 1pm, I get a gmail notification saying that he's submitted the HBS rec! "Crap!" I think. " Within the last 2 hours, he opened up the HBS rec link, wrote down what he thought, and he submitted. He didn't even call me to clarify anything, or ask any questions or anything! Did he even take the time to really think things through? Did he choose his words carefully, knowing the immensity of what this recommendation is to my career?"

at around 1:20...I get ANOTHER gmail alert. The chaplain just submitted the Stanford rec!!! 20 mins!

Now I'm freaking out. Writing a thoughtful and compelling rec should take more than 20 mins, shouldn't it?

I sent him an email, thanking him for his time and support, but with a slightly probing question. In the recommendation packet I gave him, I added a Stanford adcom podcast transcript that gives advice to recommenders in how/what to write. (if you want it, i've posted it here http://gmatclub.com/forum/calling-all-us-military-fall-2010-applicants-83186.html) So in the email, I ask him, "Hey Sir, I hope the Stanford transcript wasn't too much information. Was it helpful to you, Sir?" In essence, asking if he even read it, to assuage my fears that he wouldn't even know what a good rec would look or sound like.

He replied "No problem at all. The information was helpful."

So I'm hoping he read it, and I'm hoping it helped. But jeez louise. 20mins to write a rec? am I freakin out for no reason?
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2009, 22:06
I have two to share: one is done, one is in progress.

Done: I gave Rec1 (Recommendar 1) about two months notice to do two of my letters. He doesn't do anything till last week. Then all of a sudden a get a notice that my letter for 1st school has been submitted. I'm happy, but confused. Did he had no questions? Last time we talked we agreed that we would discuss the letter before he submits it. But what can I do now? it's submitted. So I call him, and as it so happens it goes to the VM. Half an hour later, the 2nd school is submitted as well. *Oh well, it's out of hands now. Let's just hope that I had never pissed him off enough...*

In progress: Gave him (Rec2) two months lead time, no progress so far. I doubt he has even logged in. Now this guy is the most laziest one. He straight away asked me to write it up, so he can submit it. I declined, saying it has to be his own words, but I can help him in putting it together. So I gave him a dossier of all the info I would like highlighted. Still this guy won't move an inch, doesn't return phone calls, no responses to e-mails. Basically he has tried his best to close down all channels of communications. Since there is only a little more than two weeks left, I'm getting really frustrated. and it has started to affect the stuff that I need to do, apps essays, et al.,
Do not really no what to do?
Any advice, suggestions?

  • I cannot really give him an ultimatum, I think most will agree that's just a bad idea.
  • If I wait till the D-day, hoping he will pull it off at the last minute, I will be in a mess if he suddenly has 'computer problems' during that time.
  • Forget the 2nd rec, just go with a single rec from Rec3?
    Beg Rec1 to do a couple more?
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 02 Jan 2010, 12:01
I'm in that same situation Jivana. I already submitted 1 rolling app and have another due in 4 days, and my writer has become completely unresponsive for the last 3 weeks. I begged my other rec writer to do it. Hopefully that works out.
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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories [#permalink] New post 03 Jan 2010, 04:15
Jivana wrote:
Any advice, suggestions?



I had the same problem with one of my recommenders. Best advice is to go visit them personally( if you are in the same city of course) and get the job done. Even if this means paying a visit to them everyday, just do so

It worked for me

Cheers,

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Re: Letter of Recommendation Horror Stories   [#permalink] 03 Jan 2010, 04:15
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