The Importance of Letter of Recommendation

We know that you work very hard to get excellent GMAT score and put your best effort to write the essays and fill the application forms. But do you consider the amount of planning and time that can go into getting excellent recommendations for your application? Recommendations are a key ingredient in your application profile, therefore you should be as strategic about your recommendations as you are about taking the GMAT.

What are some best practices?

  • Members of your current organization generally provide the most relevant content
  • Higher level leaders without direct knowledge of your work are less valuable
  • Discuss your goals for getting an MBA with your recommenders
  • Ensure the recommender cites specific examples of your abilities
  • Give recommenders at least two weeks to complete the task

Here are the most frequently asked questions about recommendations:

Who should I ask to be my recommender?
The Admissions Committee, in most of the cases, ask for two professional recommendations, preferably from supervisors. If you haven’t approached your supervisor about the MBA program, consider another leader within your organization who can appropriately identify your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a myth that the recommendation from the senior most colleague holds more importance. In reality, obtaining a recommendation from someone who knows you well and can share specific examples of your work is more advantageous for the admissions committee.

What type of people other than my employer should I ask?
If you volunteer for an organization, colleagues there could provide similar details about your work ethic and product. In addition, you may want to consider clients or vendors with whom you have a business relationship.

What if I work for a family-owned or sole proprietor business?
We prefer non-family representatives to provide a recommendation. If you work for a family-owned or sole proprietor business, you may want to consider external vendors or clients. If you believe a familial partner would provide a valuable recommendation, please contact the university officials.

When should I send the letter of recommendation forms?
First, be sure to ask your chosen recommenders if they would be willing to write a recommendation on your behalf. You’ll want to send the recommendation forms to them as soon as possible to give them plenty of time to complete.

What should be in a recommendation letter?
University provides your recommender with a form that guides them through their assessment. This form creates efficiency for your recommender while providing the contextual information to evaluate your candidacy.

What should I tell my recommenders to write?
The more specific the content, the better. Suggest that the recommenders write directly about a goal that you’ve reached or a strength that you’re known for at your organization.

How long will it take to complete the recommendation form?
It will take approximately 10-15 minutes, based on your history with the recommender.

What if my recommenders are unresponsive to my invitation?
People are busy, so two reminders of your request are acceptable. Give them ample time to complete the form and provide them with a deadline. Reinforce why the MBA is important to you and that the admissions committee reviews recommendations closely. If your recommender still doesn’t take action after two reminders, it’s best to consider an alternative individual. You can make that change within your MBA application.

Bidyut Dutta,

Senior Vice President | Leverage Edu

bidyut@leverageedu.com | www.leverageedu.com

Making Higher Education Intelligent & Awesome!

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