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Recommendation letter from an NGO ?

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mzkfrk Just gettin' started!
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Recommendation letter from an NGO ? Post Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:03 am
Hi. I worked for my last organisation for 20 months till i switched to another firm recently. I am also actively involved with an NGO.
I am applying this year to the B schools and I plan to get 1 recommendation letter from the previous employer but what about the second recommendation letter? Do I get it from the current employer or from the NGO?

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essaysnark GMAT Destroyer!
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Post Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:08 pm
mzkfrk, it's hard to answer your question in a vacuum, since the choice of recommenders is a very strategic aspect of an application (taking into account what aspects of your candidacy you want them to emphasize, who can best position you for the career goals you're laying out for the school, etc.).

However, there is absolutely no problem with getting a recommendation from an NGO. This could offer a very nice balance to your profile potentially. It all depends on the different pieces and how they fit together.

Generally the rules are:

* pick someone you worked closely with for at least six months, preferably a year
* the work experience should have been recent, within the last three years
* this person needs to have been in a supervisory position over you - they do not have to have been formally your boss, but they need to have directly evaluated your work product

Since you're not getting a letter from your current direct supervisor, then most schools will want you to write the optional essay to explain the situation. It's totally legitimate to be getting your "main" rec from the 20-months organization, since you just haven't been at the current position long enough for anyone there to write a letter for you yet. Getting a rec from the prior employer is absolutely fine. If that rec will come from someone you worked for before (who was your supervisor in that job), then you have some leeway in terms of who to choose for your other recommendation. If you have good stories of making a strong contribution and having an impact with your work with the NGO, then that could be an ideal choice for you (again, depending on all the other elements).

Hope this helps!
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PrepMBA.AlexLeventhal Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Post Tue Aug 02, 2011 9:46 am
As your new job is recent, explain in the optional essay why you are not getting a letter from your current boss. This is an understandable scenario, given your firm might not love the fact that you already have an eye for the door.

And yes, a reference from a non-profit for which you have done consistent work can be great. Have them focus on work that you did that is managerial in nature. Great letters have specific examples of you training, leading and communicating.

Good Luck!

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mzkfrk Just gettin' started!
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Post Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:45 am
PrepMBA.AlexLeventhal wrote:
As your new job is recent, explain in the optional essay why you are not getting a letter from your current boss. This is an understandable scenario, given your firm might not love the fact that you already have an eye for the door.

And yes, a reference from a non-profit for which you have done consistent work can be great. Have them focus on work that you did that is managerial in nature. Great letters have specific examples of you training, leading and communicating.

Good Luck!
Thanks Alex for your reply. If I manage to get a recommendation letter from my current employer, would that be considered valid by the B schools because I have worked for that firm for about 2 months(3months by the time I get the recomm letter).

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PrepMBA.AlexLeventhal Really wants to Beat The GMAT!
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Post Tue Aug 02, 2011 10:59 am
It might be "valid" but it might not be worth very much as what can somebody really say about your impact in such a short time? It is a wasted reference in my view.

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Alex Leventhal
Harvard MBA, 1998
Prep MBA Admissions Consulting
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