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Managers LoR - necessary?

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Director
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Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2009, 11:50
Is it fine if I don't get my immediate manager's recommendation, for LoRs.

Reasons :

1) He's a mor*n, knows nothing. He can't even frame proper business emails. I'm only here, because the economic climate isn't allowing me to move elsewhere. Besides, my priority is b-school.
2) He's asking me to write the recos. Now, I dont have a problem with that, but it's against the "rules". Also, I'll be spending a GOOD time on them, rather could utilize the time on my essays

There always a chance to explain this in the optional essay, but curious to know if this could hurt by application, if not completely..marginally?

TIA

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2009, 12:11
I did not get an LoR from my current manager as I did not want any problems down the road. Instead I approached one of my previous managers and he agreed to write my LoR. For the other LoR, I got a peer to write it.

In case you don't get your manager's LoR it will be better to address this in your optional essay.

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2009, 13:05
I can see you already have your dream job....

As for the manager issue, no, you don't need a direct LOR from your manager. It's quite common for people not to use managers because, often, they'd prefer their manager didn't know of their MBA plans. As such, there is no need to write an optional essay either.

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2009, 13:33
I will not use my direct manager either for similar reasons that you've stated. My manager is an idiot (worst grammatical mistakes in e-mails EVER) and he is a vindictive type who would try and make my life a living hell if he knew that I was trying to leave.

Anyway, I think most schools will understand. It does seem kind of bad though for schools like Stanford, which requires an explanation...

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2009, 04:05
topher wrote:
I will not use my direct manager either for similar reasons that you've stated. My manager is an idiot (worst grammatical mistakes in e-mails EVER) and he is a vindictive type who would try and make my life a living hell if he knew that I was trying to leave.


We have something in common!. I'm thinking of starting a HATE MY manager thread :)

rhyme wrote:
As such, there is no need to write an optional essay either.


Many schools, asks for an explanation. Nevertheless, I can breathe some sigh of relief, I thought managers LoR's are necessary.

Since this was my first job, and I've stuck on to this for 5 yrs (it wasn't this bad earlier), the only option I have is to get both my recos from my peers, which should be fine I guess.

Thanks guys!

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2009, 06:50
pm4553 wrote:

Since this was my first job, and I've stuck on to this for 5 yrs (it wasn't this bad earlier), the only option I have is to get both my recos from my peers, which should be fine I guess.

Thanks guys!


I would try and find someone other than a peer for at least one recommendation: a former manager, a superior who you don't report directly to, someone at an EC organization you're involved with, a client/customer, etc. Oftentimes, these people will have better perspective - or at least the adcom would perceive that they have better perspective - on your performance than your peers would.
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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2009, 12:41
pm4553 wrote:
Is it fine if I don't get my immediate manager's recommendation, for LoRs.
<snip>
There always a chance to explain this in the optional essay, but curious to know if this could hurt by application, if not completely..marginally?

You can choose to skip manager's LOR, but look for the other options that u have: somebody from extra-curricular side, ur manager's manager or may be some client.. Most of the schools are NOT okay with the peer reccos (except for a school or two, who'd specifically request a peer-reco as a third LOR)

BTW, when you say that you;d explain "this" in optional essay, your explanation doesn't begin with: "my manager is an idiot" :D
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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jun 2009, 13:18
having 2 peers write them is a bad idea. i'd have a former manager do it if i were you, and maybe someone from a EC org or a much senior coworker/lead.

to be honest, i don't know why you just don't write the rec yourself. all of us had to write "outlines" to give to our recommenders, and some of them just copy/paste from the outline anyway and wordsmith from there. i know it sucks to write it, but just suck it up one night and knock it out. then wordsmith it with your manager at his office. call it an outline if you want, just be sure you list the exact stories/points you want him to talk about. and have the other recommender fill in the gaps that your manager can't comment on. keep in mind your manager can comment on things your peers can't, like promotions or performance review scores the past few years...

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Jun 2009, 03:30
shobhit wrote:
Most of the schools are NOT okay with the peer reccos (except for a school or two, who'd specifically request a peer-reco as a third LOR)


Don't necessarily agree with this statement. Sometimes a peer is able to add a perspective that no one else can. Case and point, when I was in the Army, I had about 7 different jobs in 6 years (due to deployments etc). Most of the time, this meant that I had different bosses. The only person that could really speak personally about all the things that I did was a peer who was with me most of the time. So for my recommendations, I had my current boss write one, and my buddy write the other.

That being said, I would only have a peer recommendation if your other is from a manager.

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2009, 03:14
I don't see what the issue is here: he's asking you to write them, so no issues on the writing part. He can be the worst moron ever, I don't see any issues since you'll be writing the recos. UNLESS he's a horrible person and will change the recos to your disadvantage.

As for losing time on them, it doesn't take that much time to write, so no sweat (are you super pressured by time?)
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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2009, 03:17
Hi mates,

my two cents,

my idea is to use the optional essay to exlain why I don't have the LoR from my current employer (he's an idiot, he can't deal with the idea someone has other plans, whatever) and to support the idea that now is the time to get an MBA (due to my current employer, i've reached the top and I need a little push in my proffesinal carreer)

good luck friend
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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2009, 12:33
not a problem.......Just be sure to get at least one former supervisor, (2 would be better)

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2009, 15:40
I'm struggling with recommendations too... but for a different reason. I have had only one job, so where should the second letter be from?? I previously thought about asking a peer or some one from my community service, but Kellogg and Columbia state that both should be professional and from someone senior to you...

(Kellogg: "The second letter of recommendation also should be from someone who can objectively evaluate your professional performance as well as managerial and leadership potential, such as a former supervisor, previous employer, client, etc."
Columbia: "The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can add personal insight into your candidacy.")

Do you guys think a letter from an intern manager would do? It's a few years back though.

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New post 28 Jun 2009, 15:42
On the other hand, Chicago seems to be asking a non-professional second recommendation:
"These letters can give us a different perspective of your skill sets outside of your professional environment."

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New post 29 Jun 2009, 07:38
My LoR were from an engagement manager (not my direct team lead - he didn't know I was applying to school and I wanted to keep my job :P) and from one of my clients. For Booth, I also had a third rec from an alum, with whom I'd done a pro-bono consulting thing.

I think it's okay if your recommendations aren't from a direct manager, but they should be from someone that can speak to your abilities and really knows you. I'd consider any supervisors you've had recently (maybe from different projects within the same company?), any clients you might have worked with.

I'm just wary of peer recommendations since I don't know how they're perceived by adcom. If I was adcom, I'd be more likely to give more weight to a rec coming from someone with more WE/higher position than someone who was the peer of the applicant. I would think that the more senior person perhaps has a greater ability to gauge how good/bad the applicant really is since they've worked for a longer time, with more people.

my two cents :)

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New post 29 Jun 2009, 09:43
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Audio wrote:
UNLESS he's a horrible person and will change the recos to your disadvantage.


I'm afraid of this, that's why I DONT want a reco from him.

isa wrote:
I think it's okay if your recommendations aren't from a direct manager, but they should be from someone that can speak to your abilities and really knows you.


Well, my peers can speak about my abilities & skills. So, they are an option, which I shall consider.

Just trying to understand - I haven't seen or heard any recos from your subordinates. Do you think it can be used? There could be an element of bias, however, would you know how Adcom perceive this. The reason I ask is that end of the day, your working with your subordinates too. Its not just your clients or supervisors.

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New post 05 Jul 2009, 07:18
very good point pm4553 (+1)

I haven't heard anything about recommendations from subordinates. But thinking of it, it could be a good way to show your leader skills... (considering that you are a good leader :lol: )

Any other thoughts?

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New post 05 Jul 2009, 08:15
I've seen recommendations from subordinates directly discouraged by some elite schools (can't remember which, but it was on the recommendation sections of some of their websites). For others, I would guess they feel the same way and not encourage them or look too favorably upon them. Why? Because it might seem like you put undue influence on a subordinate to write you a really great recommendation so anything good in the recommendation is suspect. And honestly, even if you don't see your recommendations, asking your subordinate isn't going to get you the most honest assessment of your skills since they'll probably be afraid that you might be in the position to read it someday.
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New post 05 Jul 2009, 08:37
right, that's the other side of the coin... and honestly, it seems to be very difficult to refute the idea that you've forced your guys to write that.

Probably, it's better to avoid subordinates' recomms...
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Re: Managers LoR - necessary? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2009, 04:20
ElleBee wrote:
I've seen recommendations from subordinates directly discouraged by some elite schools (can't remember which, but it was on the recommendation sections of some of their websites). For others, I would guess they feel the same way and not encourage them or look too favorably upon them. Why? Because it might seem like you put undue influence on a subordinate to write you a really great recommendation so anything good in the recommendation is suspect. And honestly, even if you don't see your recommendations, asking your subordinate isn't going to get you the most honest assessment of your skills since they'll probably be afraid that you might be in the position to read it someday.


Agreed. I know it's not healthy to have a reco from your subordinate. And rightly said, it's discouraged by many (if not certain) schools - pretty obvious. However, to me, it's still not convincing. End of the day, your leadership is not only judged by your manager or clients, but also from the guys whom you have been leading. They might have more insights to give than your manager 's. Your clients/managers might not interact with you on a frequent basis, however, your subordinates do (at least for me).

Further, on the contrary, if you've developed a great rapport with your managers or seniors, then they'll pretty much write what YOU want them to write. May be, in somecases, they'll just ask you to fill the questions and will post it - you'll never be able to tell. Adcoms, do have experience and *might* be able to decipher.

IMO, reco letter isn't a foolproof claim of how good a person is (just like GMAT). All said, we still have to follow the process :(

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Re: Managers LoR - necessary?   [#permalink] 06 Jul 2009, 04:20

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