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Rec Letter questions

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Rec Letter questions [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 13:40
I have (2) supervisors who will be writing my rec's.

I'm looking for a way to (politely) ask to see their rec's before they submit them, and I'm asking for a couple of reasons - please feel free to comment on any of this.
1) Since both recommenders "supervised" me over the same time period, I wanted to make sure they mention different examples from work, to avoid repetition. Also so that if they do mention the same example, they don't portray the situation too differently (as in - "oh he was a whiner" vs "here he spoke up and demonstrated confidence"...or something like that)
2) To make sure that when I'M writing my essays that I don't use the same examples or write them in a different light than how the recommender did.

What do you think?

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Re: Rec Letter questions [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 14:44
I think I've never heard of anyone wanting to see what their recommenders wrote about them. This kind of defeats the whole purpose of a reco no?

What you can do is draft bullet points about what you achieved for each of your recommenders to make sure everything you'd like to see in there is covered. If you are not sure whether one of the recommenders will write something positive about you then don't pick him/her! Also, it's no secret that many applicants draft their own recommendation letters, but only on the request of the recommender. The final edits are then up to the recommenders.
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Re: Rec Letter questions [#permalink] New post 21 Jul 2010, 14:59
Sorry, did not want to give the impression that I am uncertain about what they'll say. I'm confident they'll both say positive things about me.

actually its pretty common (at least post-submission - thats what the "waive rights" checkbox is for, if you wish to see what they said about you) but i'm not concerned with what they say after my app is submitted. I've put together my rec package for them that has "prepped" them, so to speak, on what bschool recs are about. This is more about my own concerns that if both recommenders write about the same story, then the adcom's will see me as having few things to talk about.

What I do want to do though, is to get some diversity in the examples used in my rec's since both writers have worked closely with me on the same project over the last 12 months. Granted, they held different positions and have different perspectives about it, but it would be nice if the rec's cover a broader variety of examples rather than both saying "hey this one time in March" and they both refer to that example. ...and THEN, in my essays I also write about "that time in March" and now it looks like I've only got one thing to speak about. Does that make sense? Am I over-worrying and this is just the risk you take?
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Re: Rec Letter questions [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 00:15
Again, from drafting bullet points with specific (and different) examples you can guide your recommenders in the right direction. If possible, is there someone else who could write the second recommendation? Perhaps from another project, or any hobby/club you are involved with? Then you won't face this dilemma.

Regarding unchecking the "waive rights to see reco post submission" box, I would refrain from doing this (it's actually quite uncommon for applicants to uncheck this box). It shows the adcoms that you have doubts about what your recommenders have to say about you and that you don't fully trust them.
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Re: Rec Letter questions [#permalink] New post 22 Jul 2010, 05:38
thanks for the reply. What I meant was that the 'ability' to see the rec's afterwards is a common on most apps, should the applicant choose to do so, not that it is actually common for them to view the recs post-submit.

I do have specific examples and such to guide them in the right direction. Just looking to mitigate all possible concerns about rec's. Unfortunately the two I've chosen are the ones I have the best working relationship with and while I would like to get someone from another hobby/project, the current one I'm on is what I've been most active with over the past 18 months, where I feel Ive demonstrated the most leadership/growth/improvement/whathaveyou. I would think for most young professionals, especially from a non-MBA type work environment, if you're looking for someone to write detailed rec's for 6+ schools, that list gets pretty slim. Is this not a common concern?
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Re: Rec Letter questions   [#permalink] 22 Jul 2010, 05:38
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