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Help with recommendation letters

This topic has 3 expert replies and 6 member replies

Help with recommendation letters

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Hi everyone,

I am putting together a packet (resume, goals, achievements etc.) for my recommenders and am having a tough time finding sample recommendation letters to provide them. I found very generic letters on the essayedge website, but these letters are not relevant to MBA admissions and i'm not sure if the samples would serve as a good template.

Does anyone know of good websites or other resources that has a good template for a Bschool recommendation letter ?

Thx.

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Junior | Next Rank: 30 Posts Default Avatar
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Hey dynAmit , i realize this post is quite old , but if you have had any luck with that , do put up some info...
I was recently faced with a similar situation , where i was asked to give the recommender some key points that he wanted me to emphasize on...

Hey Eric:

do you think having a consolidated thread for recommendation letters make sense?( if theres not one already i.e) .Probably Stacy can help us out with this ?

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have posted a request to Stacy , will see what she has to share as well...

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I realize this is an old post, but here's a fairly decent skeleton that I found from this website: http://www.eduers.com/reference/samplebusiness.htm

I hope anyone looking for a template finds this post useful.


To whom it may concern:


I think extremely highly of Hongbin Wu, and therefore it is my great pleasure to write a letter of recommendation on his behalf, for entrance into your MBA program.

I have known Hongbin for more than one and a half years. I hired him to work for me as a Research Analyst at SRR in July of 1996. SRR is a full-service marketing research firm whose clients are primarily large radio stations and other music oriented media companies such as Capital Records, and MTV Networks. My roles at SRR include manager of new product development (research products and the software to analyze the results), and internal research consultant (sampling methodology and multivariate statistical analysis). In addition, as a member of the management team at SRR, I am charged with constantly working to find more efficient, cost-effective means of gathering respondent level data and producing our research products. Since joining SRR as a Senior Research Analyst, and more recently as Manager of Research and Development, Hongbin has been a major weapon in my arsenal of tools for accomplishing these tasks.

Hongbin is a creative and original thinker. He has native intelligence, great curiosity about people and ideas, and plenty of common sense that he has applied to solving many problems at SRR. In addition, he has demonstrated excellent powers of observation, and an ability to communicate and suggest change in effective but non-threatening ways. To illustrate…

Early on, Hongbin was assigned to an important research project as a fill-in Project Manager. In this role he was responsible for the technical aspects of creating a computer-based survey questionnaire (from one given to him by our client services department), monitoring the telephone data collection process, and completing the data processing and analysis of the survey results.

From the beginning of this assignment, Hongbin began to re-define our expectations of a good project manager. He started by participating in discussions with the client and suggesting and implementing several changes to the script that shortened its length and clarified the instructions to respondents. Without prompting or precedence he spent several days working odd hours, observing and monitoring interviewers and supervisors as they began to field this 2000 person study. Within a few days he had shortened and clarified the script even more - removing redundant questions, collapsing multiple questions into one, and improving the flow from question to question and screen-to-screen - all to the great praise of both interviewers and the director of our phone center. He had also observed something about a particular aspect of the interviewing process that was common to all surveys at SRR. He wrote a memo to several managers outlining his proposed change in methodology that clearly demonstrated the value of his idea: an annual cost reduction of close to $50,000. At the end of the project, he wrote a several page critique of our interviewing and supervisory staff. He described the characteristics and skills employed by the best interviewers he'd observed and made suggestions for how these skills could be taught to the entire staff. His recommendations were well received and soon implemented by the very manager whose staff was being critiqued; such was the value of his contribution and the skill and sensitivity with which he presented his ideas.

In processing the survey results, Hongbin also quickly learned to use several advanced statistical techniques including Cluster Analysis and Discriminant Analysis with which he had only a passing knowledge prior to the project.

Hongbin has also demonstrated his technical and analytical abilities in helping create a new model for bidding on new business, and in spearheading the development of tool that used a Maximum Likelihood algorithm for ascribing missing respondent data. Recently, Hongbin helped me identify the most desirable qualifications and background of computer programming candidates, and he assisted me in the recruiting and mentoring of two Chinese student interns to this position. They have both made significant contributions in only a few months of employment.

Hongbin is not a native English speaker or writer, and thus, he has had to work very hard to clearly communicate his ideas. I have seen him grow in this area tremendously over the last one and half years. His attentive listening and great enthusiasm has helped him overcome any language limitations. He is both self-confident and self-deprecating, and has a great sense of humor that has helped him form strong relationships with subordinates, peers, and members of our management team. Managers in other departments frequently seek his advice, and his name is always at the top of the list when choosing team members to spearhead important company initiatives.

In all of these areas, Hongbin Wu has gone beyond expectations, and has out-shined all others in his peer-group at SRR. His efforts were recently rewarded with a promotion to the position of Manager of Research & Development.

Hongbin is very likeable and ambitious person. I have no doubt that he will be a serious and enthusiastic student, and someday a quite successful senior level manager or entrepreneur that you would be proud to call an alumni.

Sincerely,

Mark Peterman
Vice President
SRR

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Or, Even better = don't use a template. Why? Cause it's gonna feel like a template. The AdCom will know. They will feel it. The best recommendation letters just sound out of this world excited and are super specific about who you are and what you have done. So your best template is a blank page.

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templates don't work because most, if not all, schools pose their own unique (or not so unique) questions to recommenders.

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money9111 wrote:
templates don't work because most, if not all, schools pose their own unique (or not so unique) questions to recommenders.
This leads me to a slightly tangential question. How much of an imposition is it going to be on my recommenders? I plan on applying to probably 5 different schools and pretty much every school wants a letter from your current supervisor. My boss would happily write a recommendation letter for me and send it to 5 schools however I highly doubt my boss has the time to write 5 different letters to 5 different schools. Just how different all these schools?

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mappleby285 's tangential question was my precise apprehension about unique questions: a director from my firm would love to write "a" letter of recommendation. asking him to logon to a site and then write 5-X independent recommendations is going to reflect on the Xth recommendation letter. by then he's going to be happy to just be done with it all...

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I thought that most schools asked for letters without specific criteria for the content so that your recommenders would only have to write one letter. Or at some schools, questions were posed as guidelines, but did not necessarily require direct answers. Is this not the case?

It seems like quite a bit of work to fashion multiple letters even if the content is quite similar.

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k2gopal wrote:
mappleby285 's tangential question was my precise apprehension about unique questions: a director from my firm would love to write "a" letter of recommendation. asking him to logon to a site and then write 5-X independent recommendations is going to reflect on the Xth recommendation letter. by then he's going to be happy to just be done with it all...
An excellent comment! And a problem for all of our clients. But that's why you suggest your director that YOU write them (perhaps with your Admissions consultant). Not only does that remove the burden from him/her, but also allows you to come up with a recommendation (which they can later change/edit as they see fit) of which you are aware of the content (and which should be in your favor). Once they have the 10 letters in hand they will still have to logon to submit. There's no way around that, but at least they won't have to spend days writing.

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