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Recommendation Quandary [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2004, 14:42
MY current employer has committed support for me to attend an executive MBA at a fairly high level school but I have closely examined my priorities and decided to apply to the Institituto de Empresa in Spain. I have been working full time as an engineer for 6.5 years with 5 years at my current employer. There doesn't really appear to be any way I can ask (without subterfuge) my manager or co-workers at my current job to act as referees. This is really unfortunate because I believe that I have grown immensely in the past 5 years and I would really like to capture that. I do have a couple possible references who I have sort of kept in touch with since I left the previous company but they would be good references but not great ones. I am committed to attending IE if accepted but don't want to burn any bridges in case I am not.

I scored 750 on the GMAT with 47 Q and 46 V (no AWA yet). I had a GPA of around 3.0 although that is deceptively low (most likely due to the conversion from percentage).

I have quite a bit of experience (working as a service engineer for a sales company) for the past 5 years in writing proposals/essays so I believe my application will be strong.

Do you have any sense as to whether the lack of the perfect references (or at least the ones I'd rather use) could have a significant impact on the acceptance of my application?
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Re: Recommendation Quandary [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2004, 15:25
Expert's post
granthv wrote:
MY current employer has committed support for me to attend an executive MBA at a fairly high level school but I have closely examined my priorities and decided to apply to the Institituto de Empresa in Spain. I have been working full time as an engineer for 6.5 years with 5 years at my current employer. There doesn't really appear to be any way I can ask (without subterfuge) my manager or co-workers at my current job to act as referees. This is really unfortunate because I believe that I have grown immensely in the past 5 years and I would really like to capture that. I do have a couple possible references who I have sort of kept in touch with since I left the previous company but they would be good references but not great ones. I am committed to attending IE if accepted but don't want to burn any bridges in case I am not.

I scored 750 on the GMAT with 47 Q and 46 V (no AWA yet). I had a GPA of around 3.0 although that is deceptively low (most likely due to the conversion from percentage).

I have quite a bit of experience (working as a service engineer for a sales company) for the past 5 years in writing proposals/essays so I believe my application will be strong.

Do you have any sense as to whether the lack of the perfect references (or at least the ones I'd rather use) could have a significant impact on the acceptance of my application?


It's actually a fairly common problem. In the optional essay or elsewhere, explain why you couldn't ask your current boss for a recommendation.

Here's another idea: If a supervisor left your company and is now working elsewhere, but supervised your work within the last five years, that person would be a perfect person to ask for a recommendation, assuming of course that s/he liked your work. :) Farbetter than a 5+ year old reference.

In terms of the impact on your application, I doubt if the stale recommendation will blow your application out of the water, considering your GMAT and other qualifications, but if you could have a reference from within the last five years, that would be better.

Good luck!
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More Questions [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2004, 06:46
Thanks for your comments.

Would you see my relatively low Q score, 4.5 AWA and/or 3.0 GPA as worthy of explanation in my application? The school I am applying to makes no note of allowing an "optional" essay.

The school also asks for a curriculum vitae. Is this European for resume?
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Re: More Questions [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2004, 15:57
Expert's post
granthv wrote:
Thanks for your comments.

Would you see my relatively low Q score, 4.5 AWA and/or 3.0 GPA as worthy of explanation in my application? The school I am applying to makes no note of allowing an "optional" essay.

The school also asks for a curriculum vitae. Is this European for resume?

What would the explanation be for your AWA? A jack-hammer going outside the testing center during the AWA section of the test? Same question for the GPA, what would the explanation be?

Concerning the AWA, although it is a little less than ideal, with your 750 barring some utterly fantastic reason for a slightly sub-standard AWA, don't draw attention to it by providing an explanation. Your GMAT is great, and the AWA is the least important part of the GMAT.

Regarding the GPA, my question is a little more serious. Is there an explanation? Is your GPA in percentages mediocre or did you actually do well? If the latter, then make sure that somewhere -- perhaps in the Education section of your resume -- you also supply your class rank. And of course if there was a reason for a mediocre preformance, provide it along with evidence that you have figured out how to perform.

A CV is European for a resume or job history, but a CV is usually much more complete than an American resume.

Good luck!
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Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

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