I have a question about the definition of 'Professional' in the context of a B-School recommendation. Is a professional recommendation strictly from the work place?
For example, Columbia (and many other schools) states the following:
All applications require two recommendations. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can add personal insight into your candidacy.
I have considerable nonprofit experience (I run one), and I was planning to ask one of my board members (his organization also happens to support my nonprofit) to give me a recommendation. Is his recommendation considered 'Professional'?
Thanks in advance.
"Professional" usually implies the work place and your day job. However if your NFP experience is significant or it relates strongly to your post-MBA goal or show significant managerial or leadership ability the schools may want it despite the fact that it isn't "professional" in the narrowest sense of the word.
What they almost always don't want is academic.
In your case, I would either post to the CBS thread on GMAT Club or email CBS admissions to say that you have significant experience that you feel reflects whatever you think it reflects that is valued by MBA admissions and ask if it would be acceptable to obtain a letter of recommendation
from a board member with whom you have worked closely as a volunteer for X years on behalf of this organization. Assure them also that your other rec will be from your job.
Keep it short and to the point and then see what they say.
Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools
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