Recommender Fatigue : The B-School Application
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Recommender Fatigue

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Manager
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Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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16 Aug 2008, 22:42
Hey guys,

I'm a little bit worried about my recommenders getting fatigued and a little weary of the writing six or seven sets of essays. Anyone worried about the same thing? It's actually quite a big task to write six sets of mini essays - especially if you want them to craft an essay properly. One of my recommenders actually just had his first child - luckily there is still quite a bit of time, but I think I would feel a bit funny if I had to chase him up.
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16 Aug 2008, 22:45
I am more worried about what my recommender would put as 'areas of improvement' section that schools require.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2008, 04:33
I had a sheet with all the questions for all the schools...then a list of repeats or near repeats a kind of chart. There is a lot of overlap in the recommendation questions so your recommenders can reuse far more than you are able to. However, just remind them to get the school names right.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2008, 05:42
Ditto. Have them start with the most thorough rec form first (I had mine start with CBS) and a lot of it can be copied and pasted for future recs. There is less work added per additional rec that way.

riverripper wrote:
I had a sheet with all the questions for all the schools...then a list of repeats or near repeats a kind of chart. There is a lot of overlap in the recommendation questions so your recommenders can reuse far more than you are able to. However, just remind them to get the school names right.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2008, 14:09
I was thinking about listing all the questions asked by the schools I am applying to. After deleting redundant questions and some rewording, I should have a list that will cover all the school. Then I will ask the recommender to write one essay that will address all the questions. Will schools care if the recommender provides more information that requested? I believe some schools (Columbia comes to mind) ask a question specific to the school, those would be an exception that required a bit more customization for that essay.

I am aiming to apply to 6 schools with the possibility of a couple more if time permits. I know my boss is busy and asking her to write 6+ essays seems like a bit much.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2008, 18:41
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riverripper wrote:
I had a sheet with all the questions for all the schools...then a list of repeats or near repeats a kind of chart. There is a lot of overlap in the recommendation questions so your recommenders can reuse far more than you are able to. However, just remind them to get the school names right.

I am not applying for another 2 years, so I do not know how the LOR's questions are handed out; but do students directly get the LOR's questions, and hand them over to the recommender's? For some reason I thought it went straight to the recommender's.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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17 Aug 2008, 23:53
haha I have the same problem, I have about 3 recommenders and I rotate 2 for each university
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2008, 14:44
I do the same what Markkm does. It won't be perfect rec, but I think it'll still be way better than 7 individual recs. I expect my recommenders to put effort into preparing 1 good letter. With 7 they'll just get annoyed and I suspect that when they prepare 4th one, they will be totally fed up.

I read somewhere that schools won't punish you if the rec is not perfect. They apparently realize that recommenders are busy people.

On BW forum people say that each letter should be written individually, but I think it's a bit exaggerated. At least I cannot do so, knowing schedule of my recommenders. I'm taking a bit of risk, but that's life.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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19 Aug 2008, 16:29
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No one answered my question, but I think garbus222 brings up a questionable point. What if business school's are really looking to see if students find an efficient method to obtaining LOR's. Basically, testing whether or not students take the initiative in obtaining LOR's as opposed to students who fail to obtain any because they couldn't plan ahead.

Sorry, work is making me have hallucinations.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2008, 16:26
Take this for what it is worth. At my CBS info session the woman said that it was fine to have them write a letter instead of filling out the form. She also seemed to imply that the questions were more of a jumping off point than a hard and fast set of questions that must be answered.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2008, 16:27
Yes, as long as the form letter covers all aspects of questions asked in the school-specific recommendation questionnaire, it's going to be OK.

dharmabum wrote:
Take this for what it is worth. At my CBS info session the woman said that it was fine to have them write a letter instead of filling out the form. She also seemed to imply that the questions were more of a jumping off point than a hard and fast set of questions that must be answered.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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20 Aug 2008, 17:33
Thanks guys - I may actually use a one-size fits all letter of recommendation. Doing four or five recommendations is not easy, especially if your boss works in IB or something. I'm worried that the more recommendations I ask my boss to do, the more frustrated he will get, and the less glowing my recommendations will be!
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2008, 20:31
garbus222 wrote:
I do the same what Markkm does. It won't be perfect rec, but I think it'll still be way better than 7 individual recs. I expect my recommenders to put effort into preparing 1 good letter. With 7 they'll just get annoyed and I suspect that when they prepare 4th one, they will be totally fed up.

I read somewhere that schools won't punish you if the rec is not perfect. They apparently realize that recommenders are busy people.

On BW forum people say that each letter should be written individually, but I think it's a bit exaggerated. At least I cannot do so, knowing schedule of my recommenders. I'm taking a bit of risk, but that's life.
garbus222 wrote:
I do the same what Markkm does. It won't be perfect rec, but I think it'll still be way better than 7 individual recs. I expect my recommenders to put effort into preparing 1 good letter. With 7 they'll just get annoyed and I suspect that when they prepare 4th one, they will be totally fed up.

.

If it's not perfect (i.e. doesn't cover the point, skips question), the school is going to think recommender doesn't care too much for the applicant. It is very HARD to have a 1 vanilla letter that can be used for your schools. Perhaps if you think your recommener will be annoyed,, you should pick a different one.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2008, 22:06
I support the one size fits all option. Even if your recommender is an angel, she will turn into Charles Manson when it comes to reco #6.

Recommendations are not meant to be perfect. Your boss is not applying to MBA, so a school can not expect her to write great letters. They just want it to sound genuine - that is, they want to believe that the recommender did compose it herself.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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23 Aug 2008, 23:29
clubgmat25 wrote:
If it's not perfect (i.e. doesn't cover the point, skips question), the school is going to think recommender doesn't care too much for the applicant. It is very HARD to have a 1 vanilla letter that can be used for your schools. Perhaps if you think your recommener will be annoyed,, you should pick a different one.

I disagree. Most schools tell you that one thorough letter is understandable knowing that most applicants apply to multiple schools and the people they ask to write recs are busy people. Think about an MD on Wall Street. He may have 2-3 analysts leaving for b-school in the same year plus maybe one or two alums of his firm that also ask him for a rec. That's 4-5 letters for 3-4 schools each. No way would an MD have time to write 12-20 individual letters. What's most important is compiling all of the questions for your school(s) of choice and then getting your recommenders to cover as many as possible. Schools will understand.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2008, 09:26
How long should the recommendation letter be? 1-2 pages or 2-3 pages?
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2008, 13:12
mashi wrote:
How long should the recommendation letter be? 1-2 pages or 2-3 pages?

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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2008, 13:14
jb32 wrote:
clubgmat25 wrote:
If it's not perfect (i.e. doesn't cover the point, skips question), the school is going to think recommender doesn't care too much for the applicant. It is very HARD to have a 1 vanilla letter that can be used for your schools. Perhaps if you think your recommener will be annoyed,, you should pick a different one.

I disagree. Most schools tell you that one thorough letter is understandable knowing that most applicants apply to multiple schools and the people they ask to write recs are busy people. Think about an MD on Wall Street. He may have 2-3 analysts leaving for b-school in the same year plus maybe one or two alums of his firm that also ask him for a rec. That's 4-5 letters for 3-4 schools each. No way would an MD have time to write 12-20 individual letters. What's most important is compiling all of the questions for your school(s) of choice and then getting your recommenders to cover as many as possible. Schools will understand.

Well everybody deserves to have an opinion Everyone should do what's feels right for him/her.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2008, 13:47
mashi wrote:
How long should the recommendation letter be? 1-2 pages or 2-3 pages?

I am also wondering the same question. I was going to follow riverrippers guide to LOR's, but now I am wondering if I should just compile all the questions (from all the school's I am applying to) onto a page and give that to them.
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Re: Recommender Fatigue [#permalink]

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24 Aug 2008, 21:29
89nk wrote:
mashi wrote:
How long should the recommendation letter be? 1-2 pages or 2-3 pages?

I am also wondering the same question. I was going to follow riverrippers guide to LOR's, but now I am wondering if I should just compile all the questions (from all the school's I am applying to) onto a page and give that to them.

Any MBA application guide book will tell you that longer is better.
Re: Recommender Fatigue   [#permalink] 24 Aug 2008, 21:29

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