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Sample MBA Recommendation Letter


Applicants need to think through past experiences to find the stories that best illustrate leadership skills. The most effective examples may not be the first to come to mind.

What kind of experiences will make the best tales of leadership?

Think about challenges where the following came into play:

  • Identifying/defining a problem
  • Being open to new information, input, etc.
  • Building consensus with appropriate stakeholders
  • Guiding strong mid-course corrections; overcoming mistakes
  • Building on success
  • Articulating a vision
  • Resisting conventional approaches; challenging status quo
  • Convincing...

What impress me about AJ are his integrity, his hard-working spirit, his will to challenge himself, his desire to learn, and his motivation to be a leader. Among all of these virtues, I believe his most salient strength is his desire to learn. He is street smart and quick learner.

"Fast learner"

He was assigned to many critical projects where he had to learn new technologies, which he grabbed pretty quickly and delivered a solution that was out of the box and consistent with the client’s requirements. AJ was learning everything and everywhere, from new technologies to interacting with client. Every time he came up with something he could not understand, he would ask either our evangelists or me. I have witnessed his development from a fresher with limited knowledge in technology to a young consultant capable of handling a project by himself.

"Mentorship and Creativity"

Perhaps his strongest abilities are to think creatively and act decisively and correctly. These are skills that cannot be taught and are the principal reasons for AJ's success to-date. Because of this, AJ was often called upon by other colleagues to resolve the most difficult and time sensitive client projects. He has taken initiative in mentoring his junior team members during the course of the tenure. I always wondered how he got the time to manage his projects and guide...


An MBA recommendation Letter for a technical consultant from a business owner/classmate.

Introduction about business

It was during the last week of July 2008, when we started Company X. With Company X, we wanted to bridge the gap between what the customers need and what is available for them on-the-shelf in the apparel retail industry in India. We implement custom design for apparels. Shortage of fund forced us to use information technology to leverage our business.

The Role of the applicant

AJ was a technical consultant with <a multinational company> and he had provided technical solutions to many businesses in banking, mobile and online retail space. He was my classmate . I trusted AJ as a person and as a technical expert in e-commerce. Since we had to set up an online store for our business, I requested him to be our technical advisor. He proved that he was more than a technical expert.

Break the technical consultant "typecast"

His approach towards business was fascinating. He never asked me about the IT solution that I need but spend time in understanding how the business worked. He is a fast learner and approaches business in its totality. One important questions that he...


Sample MBA Recommendation Letter - What would you say are the applicant's key weaknesses or areas for improvement?

Weakness in essays and recommendation letter should not be general statements or synthetic weaknesses. If applicants cannot accept weaknesses pointed out by supervisors, it is unlikely that they would do so in a classroom environment under the supervision of professors and faculty. The value of an MBA depends on learning skills and the maturity to recognize skill deficiency. Without a history of recognizing weaknesses, and working on it, the pitch in the essays will be meaningless.

The most common strength disguised as weaknesses are hard work and eagerness to learn. There are numerous ways to approach it.

One way applicants disguise a strength into weakness is by using a secondary trait.

Example: Impatience (Secondary Trait)


I was the direct supervisor of X from the time he joined <company> in 2012 till 2015. As with any new recruits, X faced a period of dip, learning new skills and worked 12-14 hours a day, while internalizing the vocabulary of the job function as a Technical Associate. Pushing oneself to the point of exhaustion was always a rare experience I had to witness in my team,...


Most MBA Applicants spend so much time on GMAT and Essays that they forget to invest time and effort in one of the most critical aspects of MBA Application – Recommendation letter.

The first step of managing the recommendation letter writing process is selecting the right recommender. You don’t need CEOs or project heads as your recommender. You need someone who is invested in your success. We have often seen top management showing indifference towards a candidate’s plan for an MBA. Don’t ask them for recommendation.

The second step in recommendation letter writing process is managing recommenders. Most of you might have experience leading a small team. How about managing someone who is many years senior to you? They might even be responsible for evaluating your performance. This can be tricky and you should be sensitive towards their work schedule. If you are too lenient, the recommendation letter might not be completed on time.

To manage the recommendation letter writing process, Stacy Blackman has released Recommendation Letters for MBA Applications guide.

Inside the Recommendation Letters for MBA Application guide, you will find:...

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