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