What are some of the criteria that the candidate should keep in mind while selecting recommenders? Should the candidate manage the recommendation letter writing process? What are some of the best practices?
GyanOne: A recommendation is really an endorsement. Ignore it at your peril. It is very important to be able to ask the right people for a recommendation, people who can talk about your abilities and comment on your achievements at work.
Another important point when it comes to recommendations is whether it is fine to ask a colleague or peer. In most cases, it is not, except for some schools that are simply silent on the issue of whom to ask for a recommendation. Even with these schools, it is better to play safe and make sure that the person recommending you is senior to you in your firm’s hierarchy or is at least clearly seen to be someone whom you cannot influence by way of authority.
It is important to select someone who has worked with you rather than just go for the person with the highest designation who will still agree to write the recommendation. Many candidates feel that if they are able to get a recommendation from the CXO of their organization, their admission will be a foregone conclusion. Remember, B-school Admissions committees are unlikely to be impressed by the credentials of the person if he or she cannot write about you very well in the recommendation! At the same time, it is worth mentioning that if you can get a recommendation from someone who is a well-known and respected figure, go for it. To make matters clear, here are two examples.
Example 1: Choosing between a senior manager of the company who you work for every day and the company’s COO who once asked you to pull together some data for the board presentation => Go for the senior manager
Example 2: Choosing between the senior manager mentioned above and Azim Premji (assuming he agrees to write the recommendation) => Go for Premji
The best way to get a good recommendation is to do good work, be known as a strong performer, and of course have a good relationship with your recommender. Finally, be aware of the fact that asking your boss for a recommendation also signals that you will leave the organization if you get accepted. Some people prefer to avoid their direct managers for this reason. There is no one strategy that works for everyone, and each case needs to be pondered over after considering the particular situation involved.
A key applicant group that tends to struggle in deciding who to ask for a recommendation is the group of entrepreneurs / self-employed professionals. Most of them do not really have a boss who can recommend them, and in some cases the boss is a family member / close relative / friend, who, as noted above, is persona-non-grata as far as recommendations are concerned. In such cases, it is fine to ask clients to give you a recommendation. Although clients may not have as deep a view into your professional capabilities as your boss or peers do, they will still be able to provide some perspective. Admission committees understand this and takes it into account.
GyanOne emphasizes the high importance of recommendations in our premium AppOne™ service for top school admissions. Along with the essays, your academic scores, and your GMAT scores, the recommendations play an important part in creating a strong impression about you for the admissions committee.
About the Author
GyanOne is an educational services firm focused on premium GMAT coaching, application advisory (with a focus on ISB applications), and interview preparation for B-school admissions. GyanOne operates in the New Delhi region of India and has top global B-school alumni with a minimum score of 770 on the GMAT, as instructors. All GyanOne counsellors are professionally trained top B-school alumni with an experience of 100+ MBA applications behind them.
Sample Essays + Essay Writing, Review & Editing Tips + 15 School-Specific Tips = Winning MBA Essay Guide
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Winning MBA Essay Guide Includes
+Harvard MBA Essay Tips (2020 Entering Class) (NEW)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Gratitude & Giving Back (318 Words)
Sample Harvard MBA Essay – Entrepreneurship (Influence of Childhood) (667 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 1: Enterprise Technology to Consumer Marketing (496 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 2: Healthcare (Finance to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Goals Essay 3: FinTech (Product Manager to Strategy) (482 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 1: Value from NYC (237 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 2: Entrepreneur Mindset (Persistence/Creativity/Opportunity Seeking) (237 Words)
Sample Columbia Good Fit Essay 3: Teamwork and Learning (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #1 (Elon Musk) (250 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #2 (Father) (244 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #3 (Mother) (243 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #4 (Math Teacher) (242 Words)
Sample Columbia MBA Leader I admire Essay #5 (Co-Founder) (250 Words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Consulting)(399 words)
Sample Why Stanford MBA Essay (Tech Entrepreneur) (390 words)
Sample Booth MBA Essay #2: Leadership experience (Teach for America)(640 Words)
+ MIT Sloan MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Personality Type (Accepted MIT Sloan Students)
Cover Letter Checklist
Sample Essay 3: Extra-Curricular and How enriched you are
+ Haas MBA Essay Tips (2018 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Non-Profit
Sample MBA Essay: Technology
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing
Sample MBA Essay: Getting Fired
Sample MBA Essay: Diverse and Inclusive Culture
Sample MBA Essay: Leadership
Sample MBA Essay: Post-MBA Goal & How Pre-MBA Experience will help
+ Yale SOM MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Business Development (Mobile Start-Up)(486 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Investment Banking (IB)(404 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Consulting (442 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Technology (452 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Marketing (492 Words)
Sample Yale SOM MBA Essay: Entrepreneurship (497 Words)
+ Ross MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample MBA Essay: Finance Professional who was a former member of a rock band (96 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Marketing Professional with a hidden talent to do Impression (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Life Philosophy through the prism of an Entrepreneurial failure (94 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Consulting for a Pharma Giant (Made a Difference) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Three-Level Sanitation Campaign (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Water Conservation Kit (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Losing client (100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Misreading Market Conditions (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Strategic Planning vs. Tactical Dominance in Chess (97 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone(extra-curricular) (93 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Out of my comfort zone (Daily Science Show) (99 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: Simplifying Operations for Manufacturing (extra-curricular) (90 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Leadership and Culture) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Technology Project and Last-minute change) (98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I am aware that I am different (Making Business metrics relevant to a Creative team) (91 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Timidity)(98 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Laziness)(100 Words)
Sample MBA Essay: I find it Challenging when People (Pessimism) (96 Words)
Sample Essay – Short-term Goals and why the goal is the right choice for you (Technology to Marketing)(299 Words)
+ London Business School MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
London as the Financial Hub
London as the Technology Hub
London as the Consulting Hub
Sample LBS MBA Essay (A Career Switcher from Hospitality to Consulting) (499 Words)
Sample Short-term Goals Essay – Technology to Consulting (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Consulting for Government (100 Words)
Sample Long-term Goals Essay – Plan B (89 Words)
Framework for Answering the Duke Fuqua 25 Random Things
Sample Duke Fuqua Essay: The Fuqua community and you (Max 2 Pages)
+ NYU Stern MBA Essay Tips (2019 Entering Class)
Sample NYU Stern Essay 1: Goals (498 Words) (Finance)
5 Examples with Images
7 Professional Gains
Sample Wharton MBA Essay 1: Gain professionally from the Wharton MBA? (473 words)
Sample Wharton MBA Essay #2: Math Tutoring and Experimental music’s value (388 Words)
+ The Art of Storytelling
+ Leadership Narratives
+ Review Tips
+ Persuasion Strategies
+ The Secret to "unleashing" your unique voice
+ How to write about your Strengths
+ How to write about your Weaknesses