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If you have any questions on recommendations here is the place to ask it...there seems to be a lot of the same stuff asked on the board so lets try and keep it on here so its easy to find and people don't repeate already answered questions.
I'm about to start with my application process. I already have 2 recommenders at work. I intend to apply to several schools. My question is that do I ask my recommenders to write separate letters for each school, or will using the same letter work for all schools? Also, what materials should I provide them about the schools and myself to help them write a thorough letter. Please advise
Most applications are online now so you actually will enter their emails into a block and a link will be sent to them and they will then fill it out online. Most schools do have PDF versions of them available. Schools do ask basically the same things but there are slight differences. Provide them with pdfs from the schools you are applying and let them know that its going to be done online.
If I've got a successful alum that's willing to write something on my behalf, what is the correct way to do this? It's not someone I work with, but someone I know personally who's willing to help if at all possible.
I wouldn't get a recommendation, a letter of support will work but unless they worked with you at a job or in a volunteer setting they aren't going to speak to your abilities but more on you as a person.
How exactly do schools verify the recs? At first I thought they just use Kroll and Kroll ask the recommender if he is the one who wrote the rec, and that's it.
But then I took a closer look at the rec forms and some of them say the school "might contact the recommender for CLARIFICATION". now to me that sounds like they'll actually have a conversation and can ask a number of questions.
Now this is getting me paranoid, because well, my boss ain't the person of highest integrity. A bit shady in the way he treats people, for example he promised many thing such as promotions, more challenges, bigger role etc which he has NOT fulfilled. Also he's the jealous type with an inferiority complex (he has much crappier pedigree than me). He knows as soon as I go off to a good bschool, i'll be 100 times more successful than him. Throughout my years with the company, he has talked about my pedigree with a hint of sarcasm.
Now, I've done very well at work, and treated everyone with respect, and my boss says he will write a good rec and will show me. So if I see it, I would know the rec itself is positive. I am just worried that if adcom actually calls, he might say something different from what he writes.
Of course I can ask a coworker or someone to write it, but still, he's my direct supervisor it would make sense for him to write it.
I think very rarely will they contact recommenders. They have enough things to worry about to bother calling every single recommender for 4K applicants. I am sure they contact recommenders if something seems odd, like the writing is almost identical to the essays or the recommendation has nothing to do with any of your essay or resume materials...they may want to validate your claims with your supervisor.
You are better off getting a decent rec from a supervisor than a great one from a peer. It just looks better to have the person in charge of you provide the recommendation than someone who is your equal.
Except for H/S, most of the schools want 2 recs, and they all specify professional recs ONLY. So, am I correct in assuming that it will be really BAD if I ask a person I know from an activitiy or organization outside of work? I thought that might be a good idea since it would give a perspective outside of work.
Or, are there any schools that take recs from extra-curriculars activities/organizations/professors?
Last edited by aceman626 on 05 Sep 2007, 08:34, edited 1 time in total.
I think that by professional recs, they mean non-academic recs. So, rec from an organization should be just fine. Although I personally prefer to have both the recs from work (One about the first 3 years of my work life, and the other about the last 3 - covering almost all of my experience).
An activity outside of work can be appropriate, I would still default to a person who is a supervisor roll over you though. Peer reviews are generally not looked on favorably. Also a professor is probably a bad idea since at most schools a professor will have hundreds of students a year. Using a prof from grad school who you were an assistant for might work but I would still go with a work reference given the choice.
Some schools have the forums with the questions broken into individual sections others list questions. Depending on the format the rec could go either way between short answers and essays. It is OK for your rec to take the list of questions and make it into a series of short answers addressing each specific question.
Are you guys sure? I know there are some that says it's ok, such as Chicago n Stanford which indicate that one of the recs can be from a group/organization/activity.
However, many others, such as Haas want ONLY recs from supervisors you've had deep professional interactions with:
"We require two letters of recommendation and prefer that at least one come from a current employer. Select individuals with whom you have had considerable professional interaction, such as your supervisor or a major client. The title or status of those you select is not important. What does matter is how closely your letter writers have worked with you and whether they can attest to your value as an employee, your professional accomplishments, and your personal qualities and interpersonal skills in an organizational context. For this reason, we strongly discourage academic references. Letters of recommendation from co-workers, someone you have supervised, relatives, or personal and family friends are inappropriate and can be detrimental to the review of your application. Please do not submit more than two letters, and if you choose not to obtain a letter from your current supervisor, be certain to explain why."
There are quite a few schools that have requirements like Haas. Based on that description, I don't know how you can qualify an extracurricular activity as professional? Even if you nit pick and say that "well they use the words organizational context" and submit a rec for an activity, would it be viewed as a negative like you're trying to get out of a requirement?
I just finished my BS Economics/Accounting and plan to apply to several MSF programs in the USA and the UK. I am new to the B-School Application forum and to application procedures as a whole. I am a bit puzzled as to who should I ask for a recommendation. Most of the schools that I am considering require 2 recommendations. Should both of these be from college professors?
I have two full years of internship experience, one with the middle office of a major IB, and one with a consulting practice of a Big4 accounting firm. I am currently employed full-time by the Big4. I have a very good relationship with my supervisors at both my current and my former employers. In fact, for the one year I spent as an intern at my current work place I received performance-based awards on three occasions. In this regard, I was wondering whether combining the sources of my recommendations would be a good idea. I am considering something like this because I am sure that the adcom members will be familiar with the names of both of the employers that I worked for. I am almost as confident of the opposite with regard to the name of my alma matter. I graduated from a small private school in the Northeast. Although I have the highest GPA in the business school and received an award for best overall academic performance in Economics, I still think that the name of my school won't have as much weight as the names of the companies.
Your help is appreciated
Last edited by raptr on 09 Sep 2007, 03:46, edited 1 time in total.
So how detrimental is it if you don't ask a current supervisor to do the rec? The reason is ovbiously since you don't want to get fired/lose out on bonuses opportunities if your boss finds out. On one hand I heard that bschools are quite understanding about that, on the other hand if you read the instructions for most schools, they all say "one HAS to come from a supervisor, preferably current"
I've spend most of my time at my current company, so i dont' have a previous manager to go to. But i also don't want to get fired. I am thinking about asking a manager-level peer to write one, but I don't report to him. How bad would that be?
I gave my recommenders a package consisting of 2 sample rec's, transcripts, gmat score, resume, outline of my essays, and a 3 page gameplan describing what they should concentrate on and some examples of my past performance.