What is up guys. We are BACK from China, and ready to roll. Lets do this shall we? Here is a question we received from one of our friends in Taiwan (we have translated it into English of course...)
Hey Jon, I'm preparing to apply for MBA. I am working as an engineer in the semiconductor company and I have some question about applying B-school.
1.Recently I am thinking about how to tell my direct supervisors that I am thinking about applying for MBA and would like to ask him to write a letter of recommendation. But I am afraid if my director doesn’t approve or once he knows I am going to school and not focusing in working here, he might give those important / valuable things to other colleagues to do?
2. In addition, I am working more like a engineer. Its not easy to write on the leadership part of essay. I'm afraid that I don't have any "real" leadership experience...
Hello my friend. Happy to answer your (great) questions.
1. Yes, this is a very common challenge that many students face. It isn’t Taiwan-specific—I faced it myself when I applied to HBS, Stanford etc. And…I got in everywhere.
Why? Well schools GET it. They understand that sometimes, it is impossible to ask your direct bosses for recs. All you need to do is mention it—either in the optional essay, or elsewhere in the apps. Explain why you couldn’t get one, and you will be juuust fine. Just be sure to find someone who can write about you, who knows you well. If not your direct boss, then someone else…
2. This is a question that we get often. And while you do need “some” management experience, remember: schools aren’t looking for 60 year old dudes who manage million dollar companies. They are targeting 25-30 year olds for a reason: they are OKAY with the fact that you guys don’t have a TON of management experience. What they want to see is management POTENTIAL. Making a couple key decisions, having the ability to manage a couple key people—just one or two critical stories that you can bring out. They know of course that you aren’t a CEO of a MNC.
And that is just fine—all they want to see if your potential….
Hope this helps, and good luck!
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