Recommendation Letter MBA Sample
Recommendation letters are the most overlooked and neglected part of most applicants’ MBA application. The recommendation letter MBA sample is a chance to provide a outside objective opinion of your accomplishments and character, and more importantly, allows you one more opportunity to address any potential weaknesses in your overall application story. Since most schools do not impose a word limit on the letters of recommendation, you should take advantage by stressing the need for detailed letter chocked-full of concrete examples that illustrate the traits that you need to convey to the admissions committee.
The recommendation letter MBA sample deserves at least as much as the rest of your application. Most MBA applications have strict word limits on essays, and you have precious few words to create a comprehensive and compelling story to win over the admissions committee. The recommendations are one aspect of the application without a word limit, so care must be given to ensure you make the most of this valuable opportunity.
Here are a couple of steps to keep in mind as you think about your recommendation letter MBA sample:
Keep your overall application story in mind. I’m assuming you’ve got an overall application strategy, right!?! Use this opportunity to incorporate a few interesting stories that highlight specific traits to round out your applications. The recommendation letter MBA sample is a fantastic opportunity to fit in a few concrete examples of your character. Stress to your recommender the need to provide detailed, specific examples of both your work accomplishments and your character.
Use this opportunity to tell a story about yourself that doesn’t necessarily fit neatly into a 500 word limit essay. I often receive feedback from clients that a letter longer than a page is too much and that the admissions committee will not read it all, but this could not be further from the truth. The recommendation letters normally do not have a word limit, so more is usually better. A good, detailed letter of recommendation with concrete examples can be 4-5 pages. Make sure your recommender knows this by providing a recommendation letter MBA sample as a guide.
Put together an organized set of information to make the process easier for your recommender. Provide your recommender with a recommendation letter MBA sample, a detailed list of your accomplishments within the scope of your work with the recommender, your resume, and a list of what you need to address within the recommendation letter (i.e. if you are trying to mitigate a low GPA, or a perceived lack of leadership experience, or a perceived lack of community service).
Stay on top of the process! Give your recommender as much time as possible to get the letter done (ideally 6 weeks or so), but check in regularly to make sure the recommendation letter MBA sample is on track for completion before the deadline. You can keep in frequent contact under the guise of making yourself available to answer any questions. Your recommender will most likely appreciate the follow-up, and you can rest easy knowing that your letters are getting done.
The topic of choosing you your recommender is covered ad nauseum in most articles, so I’ll just hit the high points. The strength of a good recommendation letter is in the detailed, concrete examples of your character and professional abilities. Period. The source of the recommendation is much, much (much) less important that the content of the letter, so choose someone that knows you and your work in excruciating detail. Choosing a partner or CEO at your firm is not a good idea unless that person can speak to your abilities as well as your direct supervisor. If there is ever any doubt, go with the direct supervisor, and avoid going for the ‘big name’ at the expense of detailed info.
What to do if you’re asked to write your own recommendation letter MBA sample. The typical advice is to move on to the next person on your list to write the letters, but this is typically not practical. If you can’t reasonably ask someone else to provide the recommendation, then you may have to write the letter yourself. The obvious risk is that your letter will sound too similar, in style and content, to your essays. Worst case, writing your own recommendation letter MBA sample isn’t as bad as you might think – provided you are working off a good example letter.
I’ve seen a lot of MBA applications over the years, and without question, the biggest lost opportunity for the majority of applicants is a set of recommendation letter MBA sample that are weak, too general, or too short on details. Don’t waste this opportunity to get into a great MBA program. Take the time and effort to manage the recommendation letter process.