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When should you start panicking.......

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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2008, 08:22
Strange timing. One of my referees submitted all the letters yesterday and today....now I only have to worry about the other one who hasnt submitted ANY....
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 24 Sep 2008, 11:23
Neither of mine have submitted anything as yet. I'm going to send a reminder/check-in letter tomorrow, follow up again on Monday, etc. I already told them (when they agreed to write LORs) that I would keep checking in until they were submitted so they can't get annoyed :)
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2008, 10:04
WOW, ha so I sent out a reminder to my recs and one got back saying he was committed to doing this for me and thought he had until the end of October! He said he was going to work on it in the next few days.

scary, good thing I didn't wait much longer to send out a reminder.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 25 Sep 2008, 12:46
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Guys,
In addition to asking your recommenders to answer questions on the online recommendation forms (generally 4 in number), are you getting any 'letters' of recommendation written ? Or any cover letter written ? IMO, the 4 questions generally cover all aspects...Just want to know if I am missing anything here..
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 26 Sep 2008, 04:03
when my recs. asked me to manage their time I thought this would be smooth sailing.. but now its been nearly a month and none of them have started off as yet inspite of regular reminders....

i'm wondering if the app. is considered to be complete and under review only after recos are submitted or can I submit it from my end and expect a status change sans reco?
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 27 Sep 2008, 02:00
lots of stuff in the Knowledge Vault area. :) Thanks for the link post.

Make sure you do a "hard reminder" (direct email asking about it) at least 1 week (include a full weekend in between) before the deadline. Many of them will not have started yet, and will at least plan their weekends accordingly to finish. Hopefully they let you look at it before sending it off.

As for gifts, I gave them an Xmas gift to thank them for the help. Got a nice bottle of port for each. After I picked my school, I got each a mug from Berkeley.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 05:42
ok my deadline of Oct 1st is today for one of my recs and has not completed or started any. Thankfully I gave myself that leeway. Now I hope he doesn't spend today rushing through putting together a shoddy job. Now I am scared.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 11:16
Some books like Montauk state that recs are really important, but personally I just don't think so. It's for this very reason exhibited in this thread.

Schools ask for your direct current manager whenever possible. Your manager might love you, s/he might be a great CEO, he might be warren buffet but it doesn't mean he will necessarily write a paragraph well in dynamic english or even get it done without rushing.

This is one aspect of the application which is truly beyond your control, I think if the adcoms are lenient on any part of the app, it has to be here.

I'm giving my recommenders at least a month to write it. I am choosing my current manager and 1 past manager. What else can I do? I'm not gonna dwell on it.

just my hunch.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 12:59
I do tend to agree with you Tarmac.

I think I read online from an admission editor that adcoms say recs are important, but for applicants sake he hopes they are not since he knows a lot of applicants write their own recs.


Ok I found the link, here is his take:

http://www.mbaprograms.org/mbaadmission/7criteria6.asp

"
I'll let you in on a little secret that even most admissions officers don't know (or won't admit to knowing): A significant percentage of applicants to top B-schools write their own letters of recommendation. I know this because I'm on the "sell side" of the admissions transaction. (I sound like an investment banker, don't I?) My students regularly ask me what they should write in their recommendations.

It isn't that applicants are trying to cheat the game; the problem is that most recommenders don't want to take the time to write a long letter or fill in the "grid boxes" found in some recommendation forms. So they ask the applicant to do the dirty work and agree to sign the finished product.


What if I Don't Want My Employer to Know That I'm Leaving?
This is a tough situation, and schools hear this same question from hundreds of applicants every year. They always answer something like, "Well, just do the best you can."

I've never heard a good answer to this question. My suggestion is that you get a recommendation from one of your customers, but that isn't always possible. The top schools want two recommendations (except Harvard, which asks for three). If you can't get the full quota, then send what you can get. That causes a lot of worry, but in the end I don't think it makes much difference. Just include a note stating why you can't get more recommendations. The schools will understand.


A Few Pointers on the Letters of Recommendation
There's an entire section on writing the recommendations at this Web site, so I won't address it here. Be sure to check that section out, though, after finishing the Seven Application Elements.


A Final Comment on the Letter of Recommendation
You may hear from some admissions people that they put a great deal of emphasis on letters of recommendation. I hope, for the sake of applicants, that they are bluffing to justify putting your recommender through an arduous process. The quality of your recommendation is so closely tied to your recommender's ability to write that it wouldn't be fair to place much emphasis on it. Some recommenders are very good writers, and some have even gone to top MBA schools and know what to write about. Others are terrible writers and don't know what the admissions people are looking for.

If you don't believe that the recommendation is more reflective of the writer than of the applicant, then have your boss write a letter for you. I'll make up a recommendation for your officemate (against whom you are competing for a spot at Wharton). You can judge for yourself which candidate looks better on paper. "
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 13:49
^ Yep, basically.

Look at it this way - let's say you are competing with an applicant with almost identical credentials, however their set of recs is more glowing than yours. Should the adcom give the better rec applicant more points?

Couple things to consider:

I'm selecting "I do not wish to review the references", because I feel it is more honest and is less stressful to the writer. This could possibly backfire since they could write something I don't 100% agree with. Isn't that better than me trying to hover over them and make them write exactly what I want? Adcoms have to understand this.

The most glowing recs are done with "do not review" checked AND yet still 100% ghost-written by the applicant. Adcoms have to understand this possibility. If they do, this devalues really positive recs.

Some recs are simply sabotaged by the manager, however slightly. Maybe not deliberately but if your current manager went to USC Marshall (or, even got dinged by them) and he is writing for your UCLA Anderson rec, he might get in a jab here or there. Is it the applicant's job to make sure this doesn't happen? You could argue that it is, but I really don't think so. There are many petty people in this world, and yes they could be your manager, and yes you might not know how petty they are.

overall, there are many reasons to devalue recs, and not many good reasons to value them. I would say that only exceptionally well-thought-out recs by someone who clearly is not you (how can you be sure) should be weighted, every other rec should just be put in a pile marked "submitted".

Again, I don't know how adcoms deal with it, but this seems logical to me.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 15:00
I think they could be used as a gauge to see any conflicts from your app to what your rec says. So it only penalizes people who have not written their own recs and have embellished their accomplishments. However any other gauge should be taken with a grain of salt. If people will go out of their way to cheat on the GMAT, then people will surely go out of there way to write their own recs and embellish their essays, something that is almost impossible to verify.

Sad but true. However, I have confidence that AdComs are aware of this and are able to distinguish genuine apps from non-geniune ones most of the time.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 16:50
I would say recs can hurt if they are poorly written or don't necessarily point out any
relevant information, ie the recommender strays way off topic. I know this is beyond your control
but part of Adcom's reasoning is 'hey, you picked em'

I also think that to a certain extent they can discern the writing style of the letter and form a judgment of whether or not the applicant played a role in the actual writing.

I went through the same anxieties 2 years ago when I was applying. For one of my top choices, my recommender waited literally until the last minute and submitted a brief 4 line paragraph. I was pretty angry.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 01 Oct 2008, 21:08
the general rule is: "Good recs may not help you much, but a bad rec will definitely get you in trouble." :)
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 02:28
I hope that adcoms take the recos seriously, because my manager is MUCH more articulate than I am or for that matter more articulate than most of the people I have known
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 06:46
Another thing that makes me wonder about value add of LoRs to an application is the fact that YOU selected the person. Naturally, you are going to pick someone whom you expect to write something that is positive. Now whether that happens is another story.

I think its a little different for other graduate programs, where academic recommendations are the norm, just because accessible professors probably are more use to writing LoRs and will have probably have gone to a similar program.

Out of curiosity, since each school has slightly different requirements, what is an appropriate/reasonable number of letters that one can ask someone to write? I can't imagine asking someone to write more than 2-3, but then again I can't imagine only applying to that few.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 08:28
kidro2001 wrote:
Another thing that makes me wonder about value add of LoRs to an application is the fact that YOU selected the person. Naturally, you are going to pick someone whom you expect to write something that is positive.


This is not totally true. Most schools ask to have your current, direct manager write for you. Unless you fear getting fired or complete sabotage, I would presume that most applicants would just follow these directions.

Also, let's say your current manager is a superb, dynamic, expressive and intelligent writer. In fact, he is the best writer in the English language living today. Does that mean the applicant is more qualified?
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 09:07
Well you are right, it is usually your current supervisor. My thoughts are completely my unqualified opinion, but I just thought of it this way: one's current supervisor must like you enough to work with you and for you to feel comfortable enough to go to. If you had a manager that you didn't think liked you very much, would you really ask that person for a rec?
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 09:55
I work on a couple of different projects, each of which has a "supervisor" that sees my work. I asked two of these to write LORs for me. My "direct" supervisor, independent of the projects, is clueless. I figure there's no way a school is going to know the difference.

Additionally, I share the concern about asking my referees - some of whom are pretty senior - to fill out a bunch of complicated forms and matrices. What I did was ask each one to write a solid LOR and then I sent it to Interfolio.com, where I have an account. If you haven't checked them out, do so. I've found it very useful. They can send your LORs physically or electronically wherever you wish, and it's all confidential.

I know that some schools - Stanford, Kellogg, etc. - demand that *their* forms get filled out, directly from the online app website. I think it's frankly pretty asinine for them to assume that their questions are substantially different from any other school's, so I'm just sending my standard LORs to them. I'm applying to eight schools - can't go handing my referees a stack of shit to fill out. But I guess I'm just contrary like that.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 12:02
Ntang wrote:
I know that some schools - Stanford, Kellogg, etc. - demand that *their* forms get filled out, directly from the online app website. I think it's frankly pretty asinine for them to assume that their questions are substantially different from any other school's, so I'm just sending my standard LORs to them. I'm applying to eight schools - can't go handing my referees a stack of shit to fill out. But I guess I'm just contrary like that.


So you think the schools instructions are asinine and aren't going to follow them? very brave.
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Re: When should you start panicking....... [#permalink] New post 02 Oct 2008, 12:25
If I were asking them to do something really out of their way to accommodate me, then maybe I would be stupid. But look - the online app system of getting your referees to send their LORs directly through the school's proprietary system, as opposed to accepting them in other ways, is just a way to shove off more of the adcom's work on their applicants. (Maybe they feel like right-clicking on a PDF file sent to them via email and putting it in the right network folder is just too much to ask or something.) I've seen almost no examples of a school requesting truly unique information about the applicant on its rec form - they all ask for the same stuff with different wording.

I'll let you know how it works out. But I think that declining to jump through all the hoops here is a perfectly reasonable preference - they can't expect everyone's boss to have the time or inclination to care about Kellogg or Harvard or whomever's special form. If I'm paying $250 to apply to their horse and pony show, and my actual qualifications are good enough to have a decent shot, then they should be able to overlook my disinclination to worry about their unreasonable requests. And incidentally, the feedback I've gotten from Admissions offices I've asked about this have told me that, though they don't like it, it won't have an "evaluative impact" on my dossier.

Bottom line - if centralized, generalized applications are good enough for law and medical school, then B-schools should shut up and get on the train.
Re: When should you start panicking.......   [#permalink] 02 Oct 2008, 12:25
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