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Recommendation Letters

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Manager
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Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 88
Followers: 2

Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 8

Recommendation Letters [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 09:04
Alex - was hoping to get your thoughts on the following options I have with respect to recommendations.

I am evaluating 4 possibilities. Here's a little background on each candidate:
- Direct supervisor at current firm - works in the same group I work in; knows me very well; SVP - 4th highest guy in the organization
- CEO at current firm - founded the company; I have worked with him directly on various strategic initiatives; knows me somewhat well but if he were to sign off on any recommendation letter, it would likely be my direct supervisor writing 80% of it and the CEO would refine it (they would be fine with this arrangement)
- Managing director at non-profit - worked directly with him for 7 years while I voluntarily led career development workshops for visible minority university students; I feel this guy is somewhat mandatory since he is my only "leadership" and non work-related reference
- Direct supervisor at private equity firm (former job - 2 years) - worked closely with him on several deals; he's a younger guy (36'ish) but he writes very well and is very familiar with the mba process so he would do a good job

Here are the options I am considering:

1) CEO + Direct Supervisor at current firm (Senior VP of Strategy and Corp Dev.) + Managing Director at non-profit
2) CEO + Managing Director at non-profit + Direct Supervisor at Private Equity Firm
3) Direct Supervisor at current firm + Managing Director at non-profit + Direct Supervisor at Private Equity Firm
4) CEO + Direct Supervisor at current firm + Direct Supervisor at Private Equity Firm

I personally tend to lean towards 2) since it will have the sincerity from the perspective of my current direct supervisor (since he will write a good chunk of it) combined with the star power of the founder and CEO. My only concern with it is that CEO's of public corps rarely work directly with people my age (although in this case it is true), so it may come across as name dropping. The other main alternative in my eyes is option 3) where I'm taking all of my direct supervisors (which is what they ask for), but I think given my close relationship with the CEO, it may help if I have him in the mix.

Thanks for your time Alex.
MBA Admissions Consulting
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Joined: 26 Dec 2008
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Re: Recommendation Letters [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 12:32
There is no such thing as star power for rec letters. Adcoms aren't impressed by some kid getting a rec letter from the big boss.

Get letters from people you work with closely and who you believe will spend the most time on them.
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Alex Chu
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Manager
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Joined: 28 Mar 2009
Posts: 88
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Kudos [?]: 5 [0], given: 8

Re: Recommendation Letters [#permalink] New post 03 Aug 2009, 17:59
AlexMBAApply wrote:
There is no such thing as star power for rec letters. Adcoms aren't impressed by some kid getting a rec letter from the big boss.

Get letters from people you work with closely and who you believe will spend the most time on them.


Thanks Alex. It sounds like you're steering me towards option 3. However, in the case of option 2, it would still be my current direct supervisor writing the majority of the letter. The only difference is the CEO would be adding some "pizzaz" (as he likes to call it) to it, and then signing off on it.

So in terms of quality of the letter and time spent crafting it, there will be no diff since the same person will be writing most of it; the only difference is the person's signature and title on it. If that's the case, would you still recommend option 3 over option 2? This is only a sticking point for me because friends of mine who had been admitted to top 3 schools in the past have had some pretty high ranking people serve as references.

Thanks.
Re: Recommendation Letters   [#permalink] 03 Aug 2009, 17:59
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