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Recommendation Letters Problem and Q

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Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 23 Nov 2012, 18:01
Hello,

I plan to apply to the top 10 MBA universities in the USA.
I understand all of them would require a few recommendation letters (2 or 3).

Anyway, the problem is that I only have 2-3 people that I trust them to write a recommendation letter for me. The question is: could each one of them write 1 letter which I would then submit to all 10 universities? Or would they have to write a separate one for each university (perhaps if different universities ask different questions to be addressed in the letters)?
As you understand, I would have a tough time trying to convince them to write 10 different letters! Hence the question...

Also, will the universities call the person who recommended me to ask him more questions? If yes, is it 100% sure, or 1 out of 10 universities do make a call. Obviously if I need to tell the person who writes the recommendation letter for me, that he will receive 10 calls from 10 different universities over the next couple of months, he will not be as keen on writing those letters for me... But anyway, I need to know the reality, so that I can inform him about the procedure beforehand.
If universities do call, what is the average call duration? Is it like a couple of minutes or 30 minutes?? Finally, what types of questions they ask (they try to verify the contents of the rec letter??)

Since this is a very serious problem I am encountering, I would highly appreciate a response!

Many thanks.

George
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Re: Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 29 Nov 2012, 13:18
Expert's post
elgreco1 wrote:
Hello,

I plan to apply to the top 10 MBA universities in the USA.
I understand all of them would require a few recommendation letters (2 or 3).

Anyway, the problem is that I only have 2-3 people that I trust them to write a recommendation letter for me. The question is: could each one of them write 1 letter which I would then submit to all 10 universities? Or would they have to write a separate one for each university (perhaps if different universities ask different questions to be addressed in the letters)?
As you understand, I would have a tough time trying to convince them to write 10 different letters! Hence the question...

Also, will the universities call the person who recommended me to ask him more questions? If yes, is it 100% sure, or 1 out of 10 universities do make a call. Obviously if I need to tell the person who writes the recommendation letter for me, that he will receive 10 calls from 10 different universities over the next couple of months, he will not be as keen on writing those letters for me... But anyway, I need to know the reality, so that I can inform him about the procedure beforehand.
If universities do call, what is the average call duration? Is it like a couple of minutes or 30 minutes?? Finally, what types of questions they ask (they try to verify the contents of the rec letter??)

Since this is a very serious problem I am encountering, I would highly appreciate a response!

Many thanks.

George


George,

Most schools require candidates to fill out their specific letter of recommendation form. Material can be re-used from one letter to the next, but they are different. A recommender cannot write one letter for 10 schools.

Most schools will spot check recommenders. They either call or send a postcard to confirm that the recommender really wrote the recommendation. If they do call, it is not usually a long call. To my knowledge confirming recommendations is not done by all schools or with all recommenders.

Best,
Linda
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Re: Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 19 Apr 2013, 20:15
Linda,

I've been troubled reading that most schools require a school-specific letter of recommendation. Are schools not realistic about the fact that most applicants are applying to multiple schools?

There is no way I can ask my two recommend-ers to write 6+ letters of recommendation. I am in the military which is very sensitive to junior officers doing anything which might be perceived as "tasking" a senior officer, and both my prospective recommed-ers would be quite senior to me. I am comfortable asking for a, singular, letter of recommendation from these people, and am very confident that it would be very positive in both cases, but I just don't think I can ask for multiple letters or come to the table with a bunch of hoops to jump through. There's just no way.

Do I need to limit the schools that I am applying to in light of this? Is submitting a generic recco really a deal breaker??

Thanks for the time.

Regards,
Scott
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Re: Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 21 Apr 2013, 20:41
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dustwun wrote:
Linda,

I've been troubled reading that most schools require a school-specific letter of recommendation. Are schools not realistic about the fact that most applicants are applying to multiple schools?

There is no way I can ask my two recommend-ers to write 6+ letters of recommendation. I am in the military which is very sensitive to junior officers doing anything which might be perceived as "tasking" a senior officer, and both my prospective recommed-ers would be quite senior to me. I am comfortable asking for a, singular, letter of recommendation from these people, and am very confident that it would be very positive in both cases, but I just don't think I can ask for multiple letters or come to the table with a bunch of hoops to jump through. There's just no way.

Do I need to limit the schools that I am applying to in light of this? Is submitting a generic recco really a deal breaker??

Thanks for the time.

Regards,
Scott


Scott,

The forms are usually different and the questions are at least somewhat different depending on the school. I can't see how a generic letter will work for six different schools.

This is a common problem for people coming from all backgrounds, but it may just be worse coming from the military. You can ask the programs if they make exceptions for military applicants (and let me know if they do, please) or you may have to ask 4 recommenders so that each one only does 3.

Personally, I agree with you. It is unrealistic to expect recommenders to write school specific recommendations, but they do.

Best,
Linda
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Re: Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2013, 03:02
Bummer.... I guess I'll have to get creative

I suppose if you can't solve the problem of getting recommendations you probably shouldn't be in a top business school anyway :?
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Re: Recommendation Letters Problem and Q [#permalink] New post 22 Apr 2013, 21:13
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dustwun wrote:
Bummer.... I guess I'll have to get creative

I suppose if you can't solve the problem of getting recommendations you probably shouldn't be in a top business school anyway :?



Guess so! :)
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