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Recommendations dilemma

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Senior Manager
Senior Manager
Joined: 27 Aug 2005
Posts: 331
Location: Montreal, Canada
Recommendations dilemma [#permalink]

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New post 06 Oct 2005, 21:51
Does anyone else feel like the only thing holding them back from applying for an MBA is the difficulty in getting recommendations?

I believe I have what it takes to be competitive at my target programs. I have the GPA, GMAT score, work experience, and if I put my mind to it, I know I'm capable of writing strong essays and interviewing well. I also am at a crossroads in my career where I feel like I've done nearly all I can at my current job, but an MBA is what will help me get to the next step. In short, ideally, I'd be putting the finishing touches on my applications right now, and hoping for the best.

So what holding me back? Recommendations, in short.

My first - actually only - choice for a recommendation from a supervisor is my current boss. But I'm in a situation where I can't tell him - at least for now - about my desire to go to b-school. We're a small company, we recently lost a couple of key staff members, and we're in the midst of a crisis. It's great to be needed, but it's also difficult because, while I know my boss thinks very highly of me, I'm terrified that he would do whatever it took to keep me there - even refusing to write a recommendation, or, worse, writing a lackluster one. Since we're a small company, I don't have any other supervisors (I'm one of 4 people on the senior management team) and I don't want anyone to know that I'm thinking of leaving just yet. So I can't ask anyone else at my office.

But this is my only full-time professional work experience. Other jobs have all been part-time or summer internships. Not only are they remote in time, but I never got to know any of my supervisors all that well. Recommendations from them wouldn't do the trick.

My intention was to get a client who I worked with extensively to write the second recommendation, but if I asked her, it would get back to my boss. Plus, that still puts me in a position where I don't have a #1 recommendation from a supervisor.

I'm really stuck on what to do. I'd pretty much decided to simply wait until next year, but I don't know if things will be much different by then. In the meantime, I feel like the time is right now.

Any suggestions?
Joined: 26 Jun 2005
Posts: 122

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New post 07 Oct 2005, 07:12

Just my opinion, but it sounds like your heart wants you to go to buisness school. When my heart tugs at me, as it sounds like yours is tugging at you, I listen. In my mind I think your decision is simple. Go to B-School. If your boss loves you that much I don't think he will get in the way of your dreams. Especially when you have the opportunity to go to a premier B-school.


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Joined: 31 Oct 2003
Posts: 539
Location: Ann Arbor

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New post 07 Oct 2005, 18:35
Get a couple great reccos from your clients, ask them to keep to themselves and explain to the admissions committee why you could not get a reco from your direct supervisor.

Alternatively, be honest with your boss -- he still has ample time before you would actually leave -- and work closely with him to get the best reco out of him possible. He's gotta know that if he crosses you, you'll just leave anyway.

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