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Weak recommendations - what now?

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Manager
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Joined: 03 Jan 2010
Posts: 68
GMAT 1: 700 Q V
Followers: 1

Kudos [?]: 19 [0], given: 5

Weak recommendations - what now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 07:56
Hi all,

I'm working through my recommendations right now, and am realizing now that the unfortunate thing is, I haven't exactly 'excelled' or 'overachieved' in my professional career thus far... which has left my recommenders very little to work with as far as specific stories and examples to share about my qualifications/personality within the workplace. I come from an accounting background, which was an industry I despised, and as a result (admittedly) never really gave it 100% and more just went through the motions.

Is there any way around this, and how important will this be on the impact of my overall application?
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Status: Disbelief! The Countdown Begins
Affiliations: CFA
Joined: 29 Jul 2011
Posts: 221
Concentration: Finance, Economics
Schools: Johnson '15 (M)
GMAT 1: 600 Q45 V28
GMAT 2: 670 Q44 V39
GMAT 3: 750 Q49 V42
GPA: 3.5
WE: Accounting (Insurance)
Followers: 8

Kudos [?]: 74 [0], given: 7

Re: Weak recommendations - what now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 08:46
similar boat, but not viewing it as negatively. I am from a big firm, sort of accounting/reporting, and its tough to stand out.

I did list out for my recommenders what I felt my strengths are, some examples via accomplishments and sent them on their way. Hopefully that jogged their memories, I am fairly well liked by them. What can the school expect if you work in a big company as one of many analysts/accountants? I at least picked people I work with daily who can speak to my personality, strengths, weakenesses and how Ive improved over time. the rest is a crapshoot/
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Schools: Harvard, Stanford, LBS, Columbia, Wharton, HEC Paris
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GMAT Tests User
Re: Weak recommendations - what now? [#permalink] New post 08 Oct 2012, 08:51
Do not worry as this is not an uncommon situation and there are some ways to mitigate the matter. What you need to do is get a few 'letters of support" from people who have high regard from you either in a professional, academic or community service setting. The key is you are going to have to have these letters of support submitted via paper or email so they will not be considered recommendations. Also, do not submit too many -- two at maximum. Lastly, these letters should only be a few paragraphs long and specifically support your candidacy and present one example of an area you excelled in.

Kimberly Plaga
Senior Admissions Consultant
Manhattan Review
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Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Weak recommendations - what now? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 03:28
Expert's post
Dbalks wrote:
similar boat, but not viewing it as negatively. I am from a big firm, sort of accounting/reporting, and its tough to stand out.

I did list out for my recommenders what I felt my strengths are, some examples via accomplishments and sent them on their way. Hopefully that jogged their memories, I am fairly well liked by them. What can the school expect if you work in a big company as one of many analysts/accountants? I at least picked people I work with daily who can speak to my personality, strengths, weaknesses and how Ive improved over time. the rest is a crapshoot/


Well, obviously it's better if you can get someone who would be at least a little bit excited about YOU, personally, if not professionally. but even if we aren't all in ecstasy about accounting ;), still, people are usually reasonable and know how things work - meaning that you should be able to choose some manager or someone who would write relatively impressive things because they know that that is what is demanded of them. and of course, you can help them along the way too, by jogging their memory.
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Joined: 30 Nov 2009
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Location: Chicago, IL
Schools: Brown University, Harvard Business School
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Re: Weak recommendations - what now? [#permalink] New post 09 Oct 2012, 03:29
Expert's post
PS - But try not to "settle" for a weak recommendation, but rather do what you can to get as strong recs as you possibly can.
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Re: Weak recommendations - what now?   [#permalink] 09 Oct 2012, 03:29
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Weak recommendations - what now?

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