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Second Recommendation Advice

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GMAT 1: 770 Q50 V46
GPA: 3.72
Second Recommendation Advice [#permalink]

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New post 30 Aug 2017, 22:00
Quick background/profile: 25M, White, 770 GMAT, 3.72 GPA at top non-Ivy, but with a spotty-if-diverse media resume

My situation when it comes to references and recommendations is somewhat odd. I know I'll be able to get a glowing recommendation from a "current" employer (I have a day job as a marketing manager, but the reference I'm choosing is the CEO of a fledgling production company for whom I've worked on film and music video sets and who I still consult with creatively on upcoming projects often) who works in the field that very closely aligns with what will be my stated MBA goals, which have to do with the film/television/entertainment industry. I hesitate to ask my supervisor at the marketing job for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I'm not sure how he'll react to my planning on leaving in a year (I don't have a bad relationship with him, but I still don't know how he'll take it).

As for my second recommendation, I'm a bit torn. I think that the best recommendation in terms of quality would come from a woman who was my internship supervisor four years ago, who I had a very good relationship with and who is exceedingly eloquent (she's a radio news anchor and writes her own scripts). However, how long ago she was my employer seems to be past the general magic number cut-off of three years that I've been reading. There are some people I could reach out to that I've worked with in the interim (supervisors at national broadcast news stations), but I'm less certain as to how well-written or genuine they'll come across.

Any advice at all on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

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Re: Second Recommendation Advice [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 03:00
Hi there,

In general, schools are looking for recommenders who know the candidate very well, on the basis of an experience that is:
1) As long as possible.
2) As intense as possible.
3) Experience that is preferably work-related.
The level of excitement that the recommender demonstrates, and the reasons for this excitement, are most important.

If you feel that the best recommendation you can get is from your internship supervisor, go for it. If you are worried about this choice, consider explaining it in the optional essay - you can say that her recommendation provides important info and a different angle on your professional skills, etc.

For more info on MBA recommendations, please visit: https://aringo.com/mba-recommendations-process/
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Re: Second Recommendation Advice [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 05:52
kayjaysay wrote:
Quick background/profile: 25M, White, 770 GMAT, 3.72 GPA at top non-Ivy, but with a spotty-if-diverse media resume

My situation when it comes to references and recommendations is somewhat odd. I know I'll be able to get a glowing recommendation from a "current" employer (I have a day job as a marketing manager, but the reference I'm choosing is the CEO of a fledgling production company for whom I've worked on film and music video sets and who I still consult with creatively on upcoming projects often) who works in the field that very closely aligns with what will be my stated MBA goals, which have to do with the film/television/entertainment industry. I hesitate to ask my supervisor at the marketing job for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that I'm not sure how he'll react to my planning on leaving in a year (I don't have a bad relationship with him, but I still don't know how he'll take it).

As for my second recommendation, I'm a bit torn. I think that the best recommendation in terms of quality would come from a woman who was my internship supervisor four years ago, who I had a very good relationship with and who is exceedingly eloquent (she's a radio news anchor and writes her own scripts). However, how long ago she was my employer seems to be past the general magic number cut-off of three years that I've been reading. There are some people I could reach out to that I've worked with in the interim (supervisors at national broadcast news stations), but I'm less certain as to how well-written or genuine they'll come across.

Any advice at all on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you!


Hello kayjaysay,

Thanks for your query.

While choosing the most appropriate recommender, please keep the following point in mind:
- How long the recommender has known you in a professional capacity. Needless to say, the longer the better :)
- How closely you have interacted with your recommender; remember only individuals, who you have intensely interacted with will be able to enrich your recommendation with specific examples. A recommendation comprising situational examples is considered authentic and does not run the risk of sounding generic.
- The combination of recommenders you choose must ideally be able to bring out diverse aspects of your personality. Thus, your recommenders should preferably be individuals, who have interacted with you in varying roles and as part of different organizations.

If you feel that your internship supervisor fits the above points, please go ahead :) Of course, in your application, you will need to address why you did not choose your immediate supervisor as a recommender.

Hope this helps :)

Good luck! :)
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Re: Second Recommendation Advice [#permalink]

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New post 31 Aug 2017, 13:23
Recommendations are tricky and you seem to be in a really tricky situation. One thing to keep in mind is that you will not be the only one in a similar position so don't stress yourself out too much. Great advice above, one thing I would like to add If you don't feel comfortable asking someone for a recc you should not. Too high a risk of things going wrong to risk it. Of course it would be ideal for your recc to be your current supervisor but that will not work for you so identify the two best people who can speak in depth to your past work and future potential
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Re: Second Recommendation Advice   [#permalink] 31 Aug 2017, 13:23
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