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Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK?

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Current Student
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Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 585

Kudos [?]: 149 [0], given: 34

Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Schools: Ross '12 (MBA/MS)
Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2008, 16:50
Recommendations are supposed to be professional, but is it a terrible thing if your recommender shares some (very limited) opinions on your personal background? I don't mean the normal stuff like, "Evaluate the candidate's social skills and sense of humor". I'm not sure how to phrase this question other than describe my situation:

I am a die hard Michigan fan who is also an alumni. My boss, co-workers, manager, director, anyone who I've met in the entire lifetime, all know this very well. Cut me with a knife and Maize and Blue blood will come pouring out of my veins. I have every basketball and football season schedule proudly pasted on my cubicle wall. On my computer desktop is a picture of the Michigan Union. I have a gigantic Block M flag hanging over my bed. I am way more stressed out about our season opener against Utah this Saturday than the three R1 applications that are about to crush my face. Darth Vader is a Michigan alumni; I tell everybody this. OK, I think you guys get the picture...My question is, would it be OK for my boss to mention my love for everything Michigan in my Ross recommendation letter?

Possible problems: The Adcoms may view this as a cheap way of trying to show my fit for Ross. My recommender would be addressing "personal" factors (in a professional recommendation) beyond the normal scope of assessing my social skills and/or sense of humor.

Possible benefits: The Adcoms see this as a genuine example of my enthusiasm for Michigan. They might think that, if offered admissions, I would likely accept the offer, thereby increasing yield. A good example of my "fit" into the Michigan community/culture.

Note: I am not writing this recommendation for my boss in any way shape or form. It might just be something I mention to him when we meet to talk about my goals, positioning, etc..

Kudos [?]: 149 [0], given: 34

VP
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Joined: 05 Aug 2007
Posts: 1499

Kudos [?]: 211 [0], given: 22

Schools: NYU Stern '11
Re: Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2008, 17:11
I think it would be a great idea for them to talk about your enthusiasm for UMich. Even the way describe it, doesn't sound contrived at all.

Kudos [?]: 211 [0], given: 22

VP
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Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1323

Kudos [?]: 127 [0], given: 6

Schools: Tuck
Re: Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2008, 18:42
I think the factor that will determine whether or not the adcoms see it as a cheap ploy is how it is presented.

If it's mentioned in a casual way I think you should do it. If it's mentioned in a desperate way, like "You should let Yihwei in because he LOVES Michigan", it will look bad.

RF
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Kudos [?]: 127 [0], given: 6

Senior Manager
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
Posts: 468

Kudos [?]: 53 [0], given: 8

Location: Silicon Valley via Russia, China, Canada and Wharton/Lauder
Schools: Wharton/Lauder (Mandarin Chinese)
Re: Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2008, 21:12
Ideally, your recommender should produce a convincing paper that strengthens your candidature in every way. Honesty and thoroughness is key; they can write about anything if they think it will help them achieve the ultimate goal of giving you that extra push through the adcom firewall. If you're not sure about the quality of their approach, then search for a different recommender.
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Kudos [?]: 53 [0], given: 8

Current Student
User avatar
Joined: 27 Jul 2007
Posts: 872

Kudos [?]: 207 [0], given: 4

Location: Sunny So Cal
Schools: CBS, Cornell, Duke, Ross, Darden
Re: Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK? [#permalink]

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New post 28 Aug 2008, 21:31
Love the analogies you discussed. :) I think it's all about how your recommender presents the info. If your rec says that you guys attended game together or can bring it across in a natural way, it will work well. Him/her simply saying that you can be seen with gear and trinkets at your office won't be all that important and will come across cheeseball. I think the fact that you have already attended UM for 4 years and desire to be in AA again will already make a strong case for your fit with the school. Don't need to go overboard just for the sake of doing so.

Kudos [?]: 207 [0], given: 4

Re: Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK?   [#permalink] 28 Aug 2008, 21:31
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Recommendation Question: Personal Information OK?

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