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I realize that this topic is subjective depending on each individual's strengths and weaknesses but I am having a hard time figuring out what to say for areas for improvement. I plan on applying for the UCLA FEMBA Fall 2010 class and the letters of recommendation asks the recommender 'areas where the applicant can improve'.
I was planning to list out some bullet points to my recommenders highlighting my achievements, strengths and weaknesses so that they have that in front of them when writing my recommendation. But I am afraid I might sell myself short by writing something for a weakness that may end up hurting my application.
What are some items you have highlighted in situations like these? Personally, i think my areas for improvement is better communication and presentation skills (and worked on it by becoming a CC Toastmaster). Would saying something like 'he could improve in beginning to look at the bigger picture from a strategic perspective rather than being immersed in details' be considered something that would hurt my application?
Any suggestions/recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
I'm not highly informed on what works and what doesn't work, but at some point you have to be yourself. You have your strengths, you have your weaknesses--so does everyone else applying. I would think adcom gets enough of the "works too hard", "too giving of him/herself to others", "perfectionist" faux weaknesses.
If your life's journey is to be a better communicator, I think it's fine to have that on there. You're already working on it, and when they interview you and sense that you're not as natural a communicator as other applicants, they'll get a better picture of who you are (and know that you're self-aware and driven to improve). You go to business school to learn to see things more strategically, so I'm not sure how that one skewers you either.
In other words, if your weakness is you're a jackass or don't follow through on commitments or can't work in teams, then, yes, that will probably work against you. If your weaknesses are the normal kinds of things the rest of us imperfect creatures are also working on, then I wouldn't obsess about them.
I didn't suggest strengths or weaknesses to my recomenders--I summarized my background, why I was doing this and how it tied to my objectives were. I picked allies who know me well and let them evaluate me on their own. Maybe it's not the most predictable approach, but it felt honest.
Re: Areas for improvement?
18 Jul 2009, 05:49