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# Content of Reference Letter

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Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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19 Oct 2010, 08:11
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Hi all,

What are the most important qualities that MBA schools look for in a reference letter? I'd appreciate any help.
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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20 Oct 2010, 17:35
bra cup size, 40yd dash time, and mad lute playing skillz.

no seriously, it's pretty much the following (in no particular order):

1. broad confirmation of applicant's own words, skills, qualities and character (if the applicant says he/she has a strength in A and a weakness in B, reference letter should echo this, though not in a contrived fashion)
2. leadership ability and/or potential
3. ability to cope with rigors of MBA program (e.g. quant skills, ability to produce under pressure, teamwork skills, etc)
4. potential as a future leader
5. bra cup size

anyone else please chime in if i'm missing anything.
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2010, 08:44
thanks! does anyone else have any input?
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2010, 09:42
For b-school, unlike most academic letters os reference, the focus should me more professional. Many schools ask that you use a current/former supervisor or even a client.

One look at the questions asked of the recs and its clear this is much more about how you act/work and make impact.

If a school ask for 3 strengths, they want to see things like leadership potential, people skills, ability to handle pressure and time constraints etc etc.

To sum it up I feel a b school wants to see that you have the potential for success through demonstrated accomplishments as well as certain traits.
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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24 Oct 2010, 12:19
Make sure you have specific examples for each quality. So if you want your recommender to highlight your analytical skills, then you need an example where you demonstrated this quality. Without specific examples, just mentioning how great you are won't help.
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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25 Oct 2010, 09:58
PKV wrote:
bra cup size, 40yd dash time, and mad lute playing skillz.

no seriously, it's pretty much the following (in no particular order):

1. broad confirmation of applicant's own words, skills, qualities and character (if the applicant says he/she has a strength in A and a weakness in B, reference letter should echo this, though not in a contrived fashion)
2. leadership ability and/or potential
3. ability to cope with rigors of MBA program (e.g. quant skills, ability to produce under pressure, teamwork skills, etc)
4. potential as a future leader
5. bra cup size

anyone else please chime in if i'm missing anything.

For men, is it "what bra cup size we are usually interested in"?
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Re: Content of Reference Letter [#permalink]

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30 Oct 2010, 17:09
PKV wrote:
3. ability to cope with rigors of MBA program (e.g. quant skills, ability to produce under pressure, teamwork skills, etc)

This one be careful about. Quant skills should come through via your GMAT quant score usually. Teamwork is almost always asked about. Each school has different opinions about what's important in coping with the rigors of their particular MBA program. The best thing you can do is to take the list of schools you are applying to and get a hold of the ref letter questions for each school to get a sense of what will be asked for and make sure your references can support the answers with very specific examples. Your ref should know your strengths and weaknesses and what you're doing to fix your weaknesses - this is almost always asked. In addition, if there's specific focuses for the school (e.g. more international, more technology, more finance, etc), then your ref ideally should know your work from that perspective.

Note that some schools ask "different" questions - like the wharton letter of rec in 2007 asked "How would you describe the applicant’s sense of humor?" - you don't want to be stuck with a referrer that thinks you're a wet blanket and can't take a joke, no matter how much she thinks you deliver like nobody's business.
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Re: Content of Reference Letter   [#permalink] 30 Oct 2010, 17:09
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# Content of Reference Letter

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