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Who should write my 2nd reference?

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Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 08:11
Thanks in advance for reading this post - I really appreciate the help as I prepare for the Round 2 deadlines!

My current supervisor in the non-profit I work for doesn't have any business school related background, but can write a great recommendation for me based on our work together. I'm not sure who to approach for my second letter. Here are my options:

- I worked at my previous job from 2005-07 and also had a great relationship with my boss. Again, she has no business school background but she knows me well and can certainly speak to candidacy in an effective manner. I'm just concerned that 2007 is too long ago for the recommendation to still be relevant and we haven't kept in touch professionally.

- On the other hand, I began an externship with a charter school this past August. It's only been a few months, but I've worked on some impactful projects. My supervisor here is a H/S/W grad and is well-versed in the process and what makes for a good reference letter. My concern here is that 4 months working together might not be significant enough time for the ad com to take this recommendation seriously.

If you were in my situation and left with a choice between these two reference letter options, what would you choose and why?

I'll explore the possibility of another person who can write a great reference for me, but I'm interested in your thoughts about these two options.

Thanks again!!
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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 09:15
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From what you have written, it seems like you should go with the one from your job. Job recommendations are stronger than all others, because they saw you WORK, Other important considerations are: how excited your recommender would be and how much leadership and initiative the person can testify to.
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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 10 Nov 2011, 19:11
Got it, thanks for the reply. Assuming that the person can testify to leadership and initiative, does it concern you that the last time I worked with them was in 2007? Will business schools give this recommendation less weight as a result?

thanks again!
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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 11 Nov 2011, 07:04
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Plenty of people give older recommenders. And four years ago isn't necessarily thaaaaaat long. It's what two jobs ago? Go for it.
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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2011, 01:39
I think you should go with the first one. The longer and more intense the acquaintance is, the better!
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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference? [#permalink] New post 12 Dec 2011, 22:39
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Hi bschoolprofile,

Beyond your primary recommender (which should be your supervisor), when considering whether a recommender is appropriate, think about the types of questions they will have to answer. These questions are frequently linked to your leadership skills, your performance on teams, communication skills, ethics, and more. If the recommender you are considering cannot say much more than “you are highly intelligent” or “you are a hard worker,” he or she is probably not the right choice. Even if a potential recommender does not have experience with business schools, you should still discuss with them what you are looking for in the recommendation. Both of your recommendations should discuss different areas of your candidacy.


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Re: Who should write my 2nd reference?   [#permalink] 12 Dec 2011, 22:39
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