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Letter of reference confusion

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Letter of reference confusion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 08:51
Hi,

I am preparing an application for H/S/W and LBS. Am stuck on letters of reference as we are asked to prepare 3. I have the following list to choose from. Pls suggest which ones to pick:

- High School Economics teacher: will write me a brilliant one and will get her to incorporate my ECA involvement in school too
- London School of Economics Professor: I had negligible interaction with her. If I ask for one, the head of the Economics department will flip through my scores and write me one. But am cent percent sure she does not even remember my face
- Investment Banking supervisor: I spent 1 yr as an Analyst here. It has been 2 years since i quit. Did lots of work then but not sure if the supervisor will be able to remember everything
- A general manager that I employed for my restaurant business: He has been closely associated with me for 2 years now but has worked for me rather than the other way round.

I am finding it difficult to think of anyone else. I guess the problem is arising because of my early leap into entrepreneurship. I have had interactions with numerous vendors, suppliers, buyers, customers, etc but none to the extent that they will be able to write 1000 words on me. Moreover, even if i find one, they will not be able to write one in English.

Out of the 4 above, I am thinking of going with just 2: High school econ teacher and Investment banking supervisor. I am thinking of explaining my situation in the additional info section.

What do you think?
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Concentration: Strategy, Organizational Behavior
Schools: London Business School (LBS) - Class of 2002
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Re: Letter of reference confusion [#permalink] New post 14 Dec 2012, 10:32
Hi,

It does sound like your situation is a little more challenging than usual to get letters of recommendation. High school teacher may be a little bit too ancient history, unless you've continued to be involved in extracurricular activities that the teacher can speak to.

For you recommenders, you should prepare a summary document (1-2 pages), highlighting achievements that they would be able to comment on, and themes you are trying to communiation in your applications. Your i-banking supervisor sounds like a good person to ask for recommendation letter. You should try to talk to the person first, then prepare the summary document for your recommender.

You should select people who know your well, think of any mentors, advisors, customers, etc.

We coach our clients through the process of getting great recommendation letters. It definitely takes some preparation on your part.

Good luck and if you like to get some consulting help in this area, we can set up a time to chat. clin@marveladmissions.com

http://marveladmissions.com/services/

Christine Lin
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shkusira wrote:
Hi,

I am preparing an application for H/S/W and LBS. Am stuck on letters of reference as we are asked to prepare 3. I have the following list to choose from. Pls suggest which ones to pick:

- High School Economics teacher: will write me a brilliant one and will get her to incorporate my ECA involvement in school too
- London School of Economics Professor: I had negligible interaction with her. If I ask for one, the head of the Economics department will flip through my scores and write me one. But am cent percent sure she does not even remember my face
- Investment Banking supervisor: I spent 1 yr as an Analyst here. It has been 2 years since i quit. Did lots of work then but not sure if the supervisor will be able to remember everything
- A general manager that I employed for my restaurant business: He has been closely associated with me for 2 years now but has worked for me rather than the other way round.

I am finding it difficult to think of anyone else. I guess the problem is arising because of my early leap into entrepreneurship. I have had interactions with numerous vendors, suppliers, buyers, customers, etc but none to the extent that they will be able to write 1000 words on me. Moreover, even if i find one, they will not be able to write one in English.

Out of the 4 above, I am thinking of going with just 2: High school econ teacher and Investment banking supervisor. I am thinking of explaining my situation in the additional info section.

What do you think?

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Christine Lin | Marvel Admissions
Marvel Admissions Website | Marvel Admissions Blog

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Letter of reference confusion [#permalink] New post 19 Dec 2012, 11:07
Expert's post
High school = "I have no good recommenders" = very bad choice
Teachers/professors are also poor choices, unless specifically asked for.
I would recommend 3 professional recommendations, when possible from three different places, and by managers (two people from the same job can also work if they are writing slightly different things)
You can also take recommenders from volunteer positions or other sorts of community service activities.

Hope this helps!
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Re: Letter of reference confusion [#permalink] New post 20 Dec 2012, 00:25
Thank you Christine and Jon. For Stanford I am going with the following:

- I-bank supervisor
- GM at my restaurant: has worked very closely with me and will be able to comment on my work as a company leader
- A friend with whom i co-founded an intercollegiate weekly newspaper

Now, for Harvard, will the same 3 set do considering they do not ask specifically for a peer reference? If not, I will go with the high school teacher.
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Re: Letter of reference confusion [#permalink] New post 21 Dec 2012, 01:57
Expert's post
I think I prefer your co-founder to your teacher. I would play down the "we're best friends" thing though, cause that will weaken the impact of the rec. Instead make it seem a bit more professional.

and good luck!
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Re: Letter of reference confusion   [#permalink] 21 Dec 2012, 01:57
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