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recommendation dilemma

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recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 10:07
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I currently work as an engineer and so I can't use a current supervisor as a recommender. I have two that are lined up:

-Engineer that supervised me 6 months on a project in my previous position 2.5 years ago.
-A person I work with in my volunteering efforts. He is the class teacher, I am an assistant.

The problem is that none of these guys were ever my manager. Also, the engineer only worked with me for 6 months (is that a sufficient time period?).

I tried to get the CEO from my old company, but he has taken an indefinite leave of absence and I can't rely on him. How badly does this hurt my apps? I know it will affect my Kellogg app because I need 2 profession recs. Maybe I can get another person I worked with previously to help me out with K.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 11:10
Why can't you have your current manager write you up one? IMO, those other two options are weak ones, at best.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 11:11
^ Probably doesn't want his current manager to find out. ;]

In your case, I would try to get a reccommendation from anyone who directly or even indirectly supervised you. Perhaps a supervisors supervisor/manager? I say this because if you have been a great employee and have a lot to offer, they will most likely give you some input and write you a letter.

As per your assistant role, I think that the teacher qualifies as a reccommender because, again, they know your work / ethic / ability / etc.

fwiw,
- tsd
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 15:35
Most managers will understand if their employee wants to go back to school to further their professional skills or career. Obviously, you know your manager best. But, I would think that a supportive manager would help you by writing a rec letter with the understanding that by submitting an application, it does not mean that you will leave your current position. Even if you do get accepted and matriculate, there is still ample time to outline a succession plan and a transition plan. This is also dependent on your relationship with your mgr, which again, you know best.

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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 16:27
I think many people would be surprised by a managers reaction to people asking for a recommendation. Its not like you are leaving for a new job. Honestly I dont think either of your options will work well for you. One is very outdated and the other not really what schools really want. I would seriously consider sucking it up and asking your boss.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 17:35
Well the engineer supervised me during a 6 month project. We had daily interaction and I supported his design project. I assumed he would work as a supervisor rec.
I can't ask my current mgr, it's too risky. This is an extremely technical engineering position, nobody goes back for MBAs. I'm currently finishing my Masters in engineering, so it won't look good that I'm going back to get another masters, this one full-time rather than part-time.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 18:05
sonibubu wrote:
Well the engineer supervised me during a 6 month project. We had daily interaction and I supported his design project. I assumed he would work as a supervisor rec.
I can't ask my current mgr, it's too risky. This is an extremely technical engineering position, nobody goes back for MBAs. I'm currently finishing my Masters in engineering, so it won't look good that I'm going back to get another masters, this one full-time rather than part-time.


You need to bite the bullet and do it. It will reflect a lot more poorly on you to give 2 weeks notice for something like this. Don't burn your bridges. Additionally, you can always take the angle of "I'm only applying to the top schools and if I get into one I'll go, if not I'm ready to just stick around here".
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 18 Jun 2008, 18:23
I am in an extremely tech engineering area. The only person in the last decade to go back for anything other than a MS was a kid who left after a couple years to go to law school. They were amazingly supportive about it. You need to layout why you want it and what you want to do. They will be much more likely to be helpful if you say you are doing it to advance your current career into a management roll than switching into IB because you hate engineering.

A recommendation from 3 years ago doesnt speak well to your current situation and six months is a very short time to really get a true sense of a persons ability. Most likely they will appreciate the long notice, I know where I work it allowed them to move someone from another division who I could train for several months before I left. It also allowed them hire a recent college grad to be a long term replacement (it takes a few years to get specialized quals and security clearances).
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Kellogg Class of 2010...still active and willing to help. However, I do not do profile reviews, don't offer predictions on chances and am far to busy to review essays, so save the energy of writing me a PM seeking help for these. If I don't respond to a PM that is not one of the previously mentioned trash can destined messages, please don't take it personally I get so many messages I have a hard to responding to most. The more interesting, compelling, or humorous you message the more likely I am to respond.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2008, 05:00
Sonibubu, are you based in the States?

The reason why I ask is that I understand how hard it can be for someone outside of the States to tell people he is going for an MBA. For example, I am from Australia and here doing an MBA is just not very common at all. In fact, more likely than not you are going to put yourself at risk, like one of my friends did. He was at KPMG corporate finance, asked his director for a recommendation, director said yes but was visibly disappointed, six months later when KPMG was downsizing he was cut.

The dude was a strong performer and extremely hardworking. KPMG's view, also understandable, was OK, if you're going to go, you may as well go now. They would much rather cut you if they know you are going anyway than cut someone else who is going to be there long-term.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 19 Jun 2008, 05:08
Yeah I'm in the USA. Another concern is I don't want to be assigned to crappy low profile projects (right now I'm on a high profile proj, playing a major role) if my boss knows I may be out of here in a year. This is something I'll have to think about carefully.
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Re: recommendation dilemma [#permalink] New post 20 Jun 2008, 15:44
You really need to sit down and talk to your manager and explain to your manager that you plan to return to school. Give him a timeline and let him know when he should start laying out a transition plan. Let him know early and the two of you can work out a plan of action.

Set the expectation early and it won't cause a major rift in your job/project. Any manager would greatly respect and appreciate that. Seriously though, if your manager decides to fire you the next day after finding out that you plan to go to school in 1 year, do you really think your manager has your best interest in mind? Would you want to stay and work for someone like that?
Re: recommendation dilemma   [#permalink] 20 Jun 2008, 15:44
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