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Recommenders?

This topic has 2 expert replies and 2 member replies
ufcoop03 Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
14 Feb 2007
Posted:
2 messages

Recommenders?

Post Mon Jul 02, 2007 7:04 pm
As I was taking a look at different school's 2007 recommendation forms, I noticed that some schools had very specific questions and formats that they wanted recommenders to follow. That got me thinking, how many recommenders do you ask during a particular cycle? It seems if you asked just two people for recommendations, they would be slaving away for hours because each school was asking a variety of different, specific questions.

I just assumed that a recommender would just write a 1-2 page general synopsis of your strengths, achievements, etc. that you can basically mass distribute to each school? What am I missing?

Thanks!

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brkthruprtnrs Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
17 Oct 2007
Posted:
8 messages
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1
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Post Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:40 am
Hi,

Writing recommendations takes a significant amount of time. No, let me restate that, writing someone a GREAT recommendation takes a significant amount of time. The Admissions Committees recognize that. They also recognize that it is likely you are asking some fairly busy people (people who are senior) to write recs, and that they are likely being asked by more than one person to do this for more than one school.

Therefore, they tend to be understanding if the recommender provides a letter rather than following their format PROVIDED that the letter answers each question they've asked, to the level of detail that they have asked it. Now, the problem is that because the questions tend to vary from school to school, it is unlikely that the letter will answer all the questions to the degree asked. That being said, I know many candidates who were admitted even though the rec was in the form of a more general letter.

As an applicant, there are many things you can do to streamline this process for your recommender and make it as pain-free as possible. Put together a packet of info for them: your resume, outline of your extracurricular activities and interests, summarize things you've worked on together, do a self-assessment where you assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and outline your career goals and why you want an MBA. Meet with them to discuss and go over it. Give them PLENTY of advance notice to work on this (2-3 months is desirable). Remind them politely of upcoming deadlines. And at the end, send them a small token of your appreciation. They will appreciate it, trust me.

As far as the number of people to ask, if have strong people you can ask, then by all means, spread the love a little bit. However, if you do not, you're better off asking the same people to do all of them as they will give you higher quality recs. Just remember to follow the process above and make it easy for them! Smile

Good luck,

_________________
Seema Kumar
Co-Founder
Breakthrough Partners
"MBA Admissions Experts for aspiring Indian applicants."
www.breakthroughpartners.net
info@breakthroughpartners.net

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Top Reply
Post Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:00 pm
jerrykantrell wrote:
On a simlar note, are 2 recos. sufficient ? or do we need a third just to be sure ?
Depends on the school. Definitely check out your prospective schools' websites--the info should be there.

Good luck!

_________________
Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

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brkthruprtnrs Newbie | Next Rank: 10 Posts Default Avatar
Joined
17 Oct 2007
Posted:
8 messages
Upvotes:
1
Post Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:40 am
Hi,

Writing recommendations takes a significant amount of time. No, let me restate that, writing someone a GREAT recommendation takes a significant amount of time. The Admissions Committees recognize that. They also recognize that it is likely you are asking some fairly busy people (people who are senior) to write recs, and that they are likely being asked by more than one person to do this for more than one school.

Therefore, they tend to be understanding if the recommender provides a letter rather than following their format PROVIDED that the letter answers each question they've asked, to the level of detail that they have asked it. Now, the problem is that because the questions tend to vary from school to school, it is unlikely that the letter will answer all the questions to the degree asked. That being said, I know many candidates who were admitted even though the rec was in the form of a more general letter.

As an applicant, there are many things you can do to streamline this process for your recommender and make it as pain-free as possible. Put together a packet of info for them: your resume, outline of your extracurricular activities and interests, summarize things you've worked on together, do a self-assessment where you assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and outline your career goals and why you want an MBA. Meet with them to discuss and go over it. Give them PLENTY of advance notice to work on this (2-3 months is desirable). Remind them politely of upcoming deadlines. And at the end, send them a small token of your appreciation. They will appreciate it, trust me.

As far as the number of people to ask, if have strong people you can ask, then by all means, spread the love a little bit. However, if you do not, you're better off asking the same people to do all of them as they will give you higher quality recs. Just remember to follow the process above and make it easy for them! Smile

Good luck,

_________________
Seema Kumar
Co-Founder
Breakthrough Partners
"MBA Admissions Experts for aspiring Indian applicants."
www.breakthroughpartners.net
info@breakthroughpartners.net

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GMAT/MBA Expert

Post Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:00 pm
jerrykantrell wrote:
On a simlar note, are 2 recos. sufficient ? or do we need a third just to be sure ?
Depends on the school. Definitely check out your prospective schools' websites--the info should be there.

Good luck!

_________________
Sorin Istrate - Community Manager

MBA Watch - Your one-stop shop for all MBA program research

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