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1. my recommenders cannot fill up forms required by schools since they are always travelling. i can get recos on letter head. is this a problem?
2. does it work against one's app to get recos from CEO/COO? my reco writers are such people and will give me a good reco.
Contact the schools and get their opinion, i did read that schools consider all your communications with them while deciding on your case!
I have a similar problem too, I want to apply to several schools and each of them have an standard recommendation form that needs to be filled, its kinda tough to ask my supervisors to do that over and over again. I wonder why business schools did not thnk abt this one.
It's not a dealbreaker if your recs don't come on the school's forms. However, keep in mind that the more a rec looks like a generic form letter, the more it will look like your recommender didn't invest a lot of time into your rec. Getting a rec from someone like a CEO is great only if he/she knows you well and invests time in writing a strong letter. If all you get from your CEO is something that looks like a form letter and is not specific about your achievements on the job, then that may hurt your app.
More generic letterhead recos are useable, but it's just harder because the writer may not answer all of the questions asked in teh reco form. If you can read the letter and know that there are some important questions in teh reco forms that go unanswered in your letters, then I would advice against using them. If you can do it ahead of time, read the reco forms from your target schools and try to make sure that your recommenders cover these questions in a single letter.
If you reapply, adcomms will sometimes take portions of your previous app into account. How much they use your old app varies by school, though. I recommend assuming that they will NOT look at your past recs, and making sure that anything important is included in your new ones.
One of my recommenders has asked me if I would want to write my own recommendation. I understand she is quite busy and to have to do a number of recommendations (particularly online) will be very time consuming, yet I wonder if it would be best if I wrote my own recommendation. For those schools that require online recommendations how would I go about submitting my recommendation (assuming I wrote my own)?
Yeah, this is tough. We advise against people writing their own recs, but the reality is that many recommenders simply say, "Go ahead and write it and I'll just sign it." All I can tell you is that I recommend that you do everything you can to find recommenders who will write their own recs (and can write well), but I realize that this doesn't always happen.
In terms of submitting it, your recommender will most likely have to do it. If you help your recommender write the rec, then the actual submission part should only take a matter of minutes.
Thanks Scott for your input! It really is a tough position to be in but my recommender would certainly be one person that I will need a recommendation from. If I was to write my own recommendation I do wonder what will happen for those schools that require online recommendation submission. If that's the case then the forms will be sent to my recommender via e-mail. If that's the case then it would be difficult for me to "write" the recommendation unless there is another way around that.
I am also having the same problem. Since I have been doing PhD for the last 4 years - i can get a lot of academic recommendations but there is only one truly relevant reco i can get from my work-experience (3 years). My ex-supervisor told me to write the reco on my own. I wrote a sample and showed him and got it edited. Now he has submitted me the letter heads where-in i have to type the same and send it back for his signature. Its painful but then he is the only person who has supervised me closely and he flatly refused to write 2 pages for eight to ten schools and then also fill in the recommendation form of each school. According to him this would take atleast about 3 to 4 days and I contacted him on about 20th october saying that i need the forms by 8th of November and this happens to be a very busy period for him. So hez agreed to fill in the 10 forms (this will also take about 7-8 hours atleast even after considering the feedback i gave him) and just sign the two page typed reco sent by me. In fact, he even offered me to write a lot more than what i had done under his tenure which i politely declined!
About online recos - most schools accept recommendations sent as hard copies. I wrote to a couple of school accepting online recos and they agreed to accept hard copies of sealed recos.... Hope this helps.
my supervisor agreed to give me a letter but the organization does not allow her to give on letterheads since its against their policy so i decided to go ahead and get it on plain paper but asked her to include her visiting card atleast