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Question on Recommendations

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Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2013, 15:05
Hello,

So I am just getting started on my b-school search and I'm trying to nail down who should write my recommendations. I switched jobs (and companies) about 4 months ago and want to apply early fall for most schools to be considered for scholarships. I was thinking of having my previous manager from my old employer write one of my recommendations, as I've worked closely with him for nearly 3 years and he knows me very well.

The question is - do I get another business partner/client from my old employer to write my second recommendation? Or do I use my new manager at my new company? By the time I ask him and he writes it, he'll have worked with me for 6 months. I feel having my current manager write a rec will show that I didn't switch employers, completely screw up, and now I'm desperately trying to get out and go to school; but I know after only working with me for 6 months, my current manager won't know a lot of detail about me.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!
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Re: Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 16 Jul 2013, 22:03
gem0109 wrote:
I feel having my current manager write a rec will show that I didn't switch employers, completely screw up, and now I'm desperately trying to get out and go to school


Without knowing more about your situation, I'd say this is a strong enough reason to go with your current employer. Plus, schools will want the most recent picture of your professional performance. One exception would be if you have two REALLY strong recommenders in your recent past, aka past 3-4 years.

gem0109 wrote:
but I know after only working with me for 6 months, my current manager won't know a lot of detail about me.


I've only worked with my current boss since March (applying round 1, so about 5 months experience), and I'm using another recommender who I've worked with for 4 months for some of my schools. However, I'm very close with both of them, so I'm not concerned about the short lengths of time. Again, I don't know what your case is, but I'd reach out to your boss now and explain the b-school application and recommendation process thoroughly (like a 20-30 minute sitdown) that'll also go over your goals, what he/she thinks of your strengths, weaknesses, etc. If you periodically talk to them about this, they'll make mental notes for your recommendations in a few months. Don't kiss ass or try too hard, just make yourself visible and available.
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Re: Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 06:29
Expert's post
Hey there,

I think the rule of thumb to always default to is "who knows you best". Are you close with your new boss? Will he be able to provide a compelling recommendation steeped in details and examples? Keep in mind, part of that comes down your ability to prepare him to do so.

As for showing the adcoms you didn't screw up at your new job, that isn't a thing. Don't worry about that. However, most ask for at least one recommendation to come from a current supervisor. So if they ask that and you have no good reason to not use him, then you'll have to. However, you're in a new position - how do you think your boss will react to you asking for a recommendation to leave in less than a year? Keep that in mind!

Bhavik
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Re: Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 17:04
Thanks guys.

CriticalSquareMBA wrote:
However, you're in a new position - how do you think your boss will react to you asking for a recommendation to leave in less than a year?


That's definitely something I have thought of and am concerned about. However, if I don't use him, and instead use another supervisor or client from my previous employer, I won't have anyone who's worked with me for the past 6 months. Is that an issue? In terms of "who knows me best" it's probably about even between my options, given my current supervisor has worked with me regularly for 6 months and my previous client worked with me occasionally over the past 3 years.

I'm willing to risk the conversation with my supervisor if the "recentness" of my relationship with him is a benefit. However, I can definitely explain to adcoms why I didn't choose him. and I could add a paragraph to the optional essay to preempt it?
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Re: Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 17 Jul 2013, 18:42
Expert's post
Hey there, at 6 months, "recentness" is diminished. I mean, sure, you've grown in the last 6 months but it's nothing a) you can demonstrate in essays or your resume and b) your previous supervisor couldn't speak to in some fashion and hit upon the key themes. I mean, if you've had some great experiences at the new job in the last 6 months, those will be documented in the resume and if they're REALLY awesome, then you could maybe pull them into your essays.

Just remember - you wouldn't be the first person who couldn't go to a current supervisor and you won't be the last. So in my opinion, 6 months doesn't give you any distinct advantage that would offset the risk and make this decision an easy one for you. As long as the recommender taking his place writes a compelling and honest recommendation, I see no reason why you'd be at any disadvantage.

This will really come down to how comfortable you are sitting down with your boss and asking for this. Telling a company 6 months in that your tenure will be 18 months could raise some red flags or maybe your new boss will support you wholeheartedly and order a Publix cake :).

Cheers!

Bhavik
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Re: Question on Recommendations [#permalink] New post 31 Jul 2013, 10:56
gem0109 wrote:
Hello,

So I am just getting started on my b-school search and I'm trying to nail down who should write my recommendations. I switched jobs (and companies) about 4 months ago and want to apply early fall for most schools to be considered for scholarships. I was thinking of having my previous manager from my old employer write one of my recommendations, as I've worked closely with him for nearly 3 years and he knows me very well.

The question is - do I get another business partner/client from my old employer to write my second recommendation? Or do I use my new manager at my new company? By the time I ask him and he writes it, he'll have worked with me for 6 months. I feel having my current manager write a rec will show that I didn't switch employers, completely screw up, and now I'm desperately trying to get out and go to school; but I know after only working with me for 6 months, my current manager won't know a lot of detail about me.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be much appreciated!


Hello,
In general, schools are looking for recommenders who know the candidate very well, on the basis of an experience that is:
1) As long as possible.
2) As intense as possible.
3) Experience that is preferably work-related.
Here is a good article on b-school recommendations, hope it helps: http://www.aringo.com/Recommendations.htm
Re: Question on Recommendations   [#permalink] 31 Jul 2013, 10:56
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