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Recommendation Questions for Wharton

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Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 11 Aug 2010, 14:26
After attending a Wharton info session, the admissions committee member stated that I should get two letters of recommendations from supervisors in a professional capacity. I can utilize a former supervisor for one recommendation and I am loath to ask my current supervisor for the second letter of recommendation as it could jeopardize my chances for a promotion. I told the Wharton AdCom this and she said to get it from a colleague if necessary and explain it in the optional section. However, I felt uncomfortable with asking a colleague instead due to the same promotion as well as job security reasons. Is it ok to ask a director of a nonprofit with which I am a board member and have done significant work for the second letter of recommendation instead? Although she is not my professional supervisor, I have worked with her for a year personally and been with the nonprofit for three years.


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Wharton's Recommendation Info:
http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/admiss ... nts.cfm#a4
The Admissions Committee requires two recommendation letters, preferably from supervisors.

http://www.wharton.upenn.edu/mba/admiss ... ca.cfm#rec
Beyond your personal essays, the Admissions Committee would like to learn about you from two independent people who know you well. We prefer recommendations from people who can speak directly about your aptitude for, or accomplishments in, leadership and management. Thus, work-related recommendations are more valuable than academic ones.

Select the two people who really know you and your work, who you believe can best address the questions asked, not the two most important people you know. If a Wharton graduate happens to be one of those two people, he or she may be able to use his or her understanding of Wharton to describe how you will fit into the Wharton culture. Please don't seek out alumni who aren't truly qualified to write about you.

Recommendations should address the range of questions asked on our Recommendation Form and provide details, depth, and insight. Please make sure your recommenders understand that an effective recommendation is more than checking the right boxes and writing a couple of sentences. If the recommender believes that you are a good team player, he or she should present an example or two that illustrates that point. Useful recommendation letters are usually two to three pages long. You may want to brief your recommenders beforehand so they understand the competitive nature of the admissions process in which you are engaging.

Applicants working in family businesses, entrepreneurial environments, or other nontraditional environments will need to be more creative in terms of choosing recommenders (and perhaps use the optional essay to allow us to understand how you made your choices). You may consider clients, mentors, or those that you have worked with in the community.
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Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 08:06
Yes! That sounds like an excellent choice for a recommender. While they propose you use two supervisors, as long as this other person can speak highly about your abilities, you shouldn't have any problems. I think everyone would be better served by diversifying their recommenders.

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Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 11:15
Thanks so much guys! Looks like content is very important and diversification too. What sort of content should be present to make sure it fulfill's Wharton recommendation criteria?
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Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 11:30
i have the same problem with the recommendation. i asked two of my current managers to write me the recommendations. is that a bad idea in terms of job security? in addition, i wonder if it's good to ask the managers to see the recommendations before they send it out. welcome for any comments! thanks!
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Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 12:45
Theoretically you are supposed to waive your right to see the recommendation. Sometimes the recommender may allow you to see what they have written but that depends on their style.

Also, as a note to others with anxiety about approaching your superiors. Anyone who frowns upon you trying to better yourself personally and professionally should be demoted. I was slightly hesitant about asking my boss only b/c I have been w/ my current company 6 months. When I approached him, he kind of took over the convo and told me all the reasons I personally should get an MBA even though it matters little at our company and why he thinks it would make perfect sense for me. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised by his enthusiasm. Good luck on your convos. I think if you plan it out well, you will hopefully get encouragement from others as well!

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Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton [#permalink] New post 13 Aug 2010, 12:52
Thanks for the kind reply. In general, I would agree with your sentiments that I shouldn't worry about approaching my boss to improve myself with an MBA. The problem is that my firm doesn't really encourage MBAs and has more PhDs/CFAs.

In fact, my current boss is sponsoring me for a CFA certification, which includes a two-year lockdown period with my employer, so I feel requesting a letter of rec for an MBA is a bit out of place. :shock:
Re: Recommendation Questions for Wharton   [#permalink] 13 Aug 2010, 12:52
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