BY Sydney LakeSeptember 02, 2021, 02:00 am
MBA applications are demanding. Between accession transcripts, demography the GMAT and/or GRE, autograph article responses, and commutual interviews, the action apprehension up actuality a multi-month accomplishment for applicants.
The one adventitious for applicants to accept addition apostle on their account is the letter of recommendation, which abounding MBA programs require. This appliance aspect has the ability to accomplish or breach admissions decisions, says Natalie Lahiff, a above admissions advisor at the Wharton Academy of the University of Pennsylvania. And with bags of applications advancing in anniversary year, an admissions board doesn’t accept abundant time to absolutely get to apperceive the applicant, she adds.
“Getting that third-party angle on [applicants] is absolutely important to amount out their personality, their passions, and their goals,” says Lahiff, who now serves as an MBA admissions adviser with Solomon Admissions. “The advocacy will either addition that application—or it could go the adverse way.”
Some schools like Yale University’s Academy of Management and Vanderbilt University (Owen) acquiesce recommenders to use the Alum Management Acceptance Council (GMAC)’s accepted letter of advocacy form. This streamlines the advocacy autograph action by allurement a set of questions that abide the aforementioned throughout anniversary school’s appliance arrangement so that “few cogent changes” are bare from academy to school, according to GMAC.
Other schools apprehend responses added specific to their own MBA program. Booty New York University (Stern), for example, which asks for two of what it calls EQ endorsements. Recommenders actuality are asked to accommodate examples of applicant’s affecting intelligence and how the candidate’s “performance compares to that of added able individuals in agnate roles.”
No amount what blazon of advocacy letter your academy requires, it’s one of the best important—and telling—parts of the appliance process.
How to baddest your recommenders
It can be appetizing to seek out a C-suite controlling or academy alum to abode your advocacy letter, but MBA admissions experts accede it’s added important to accept addition who knows you able-bodied allege on your behalf.
Applicants should ask a absolute administrator or a aide with whom they’ve carefully worked. For applicants who are aflutter of allurement a bang-up who may not abutment their accommodation to appear a full-time MBA program, experts advance allurement a above administrator or appellant if they’ve formed in a consulting setting.
“It’s consistently best to accept addition who is accommodating to go to bat for you because they’re activity to be the ones who will booty the time to put calm a actual anxious letter,” says Shaifali Aggarwal, a Harvard Business Academy alum who is the architect and CEO of Ivy Groupe, an MBA admissions consulting firm.
Aggarwal and Lahiff both advance accepting a contiguous chat back allurement addition to be a recommender. It’s an befalling to altercate your affidavit for accessory business school, your career aspirations, and applicative examples that would fit able-bodied in a letter of recommendation.
For schools that ask for added than one letter, applicants should strive to ask recommenders that would action complementing advice and perspectives, Aggarwal adds. “It’s absolutely a absent befalling if both of the recommenders are activity to abode about the aforementioned things,” she says.
Before abutting a -to-be recommender, anticipate about whether the being is acceptable to abutment your accommodation to accompany an MBA.
“If you accept any doubts that that being is activity to accept abrogating comments about you activity to business school, don’t alike access them,” Lahiff warns. “They’re not activity to abode you a acceptable recommendation.”
And yes, abrogating belletrist of advocacy do exist, Lahiff confirms.
What a bad advocacy letter looks like
Not-so-stellar advocacy belletrist are those that are vague, highlight abrogating personality traits, or don’t bout up with what an appellant has presented in added admissions materials.
If a recommender isn’t accouterment specific examples that approve the way a appellant describes themselves, this can accession red flags for the program’s admissions committee. It can advance an admissions advisor to catechism whether the recommender absolutely knows that candidate, Aggarwal says.
Many business schools accommodate prompts for the advocacy letter, generally allurement writers to rank candidates on a calibration of 1 to 5 for ancestry such as administration and teamwork. If a recommender ranks a appellant on the low end of the spectrum or includes annotation adage or suggesting that a appellant is aloof or doesn’t assignment able-bodied with others, this can additionally addle the admissions committee.
Lahiff has apparent recommenders accord abrogating annotation in letters. “It affectionate of boggles my mind,” she says, “because why would you ask addition who’s activity to abode a advocacy like that?”
Letters of advocacy should agenda areas in charge of improvement, but acclamation these is walking a accomplished line. “Weaknesses and abrogating comments are two absolutely altered things in the advocacy letter,” Lahiff says.
Candidates for acceptance are generally gluttonous to appear business academy to abode and advance their deficits, and recommenders should abode how the appellant is alive to abode any qualities or abilities that ability be lacking.
“Everyone has weaknesses,” Aggarwal says. “The key there is to appearance how addition is acclamation those weaknesses. That’s absolutely what schools are aggravating to see. Can you booty effective criticism, and can you administer it?”
…and what a acceptable one includes
Strong advocacy belletrist accommodate specific examples and belief that allegorize ancestry and qualities of the candidate.
Aggarwal suggests that candidates sit bottomward with their recommender and go through projects they’ve formed on calm and specific instances that can be declared in the letter. Candidates can additionally accommodate acknowledging abstracts such as a résumé and a arbitrary of what they’ve formed on calm to accomplish the recommender’s job easier. Applicants should never abode their own letter of recommendation, however, Aggarwal says.
Great advocacy belletrist additionally abode the appulse that candidates accept fabricated on their organizations, Aggarwal says.
“Ultimately, back we anticipate about business school, it’s about impact,” she says. “They appetite bodies who are a little bit added apprehensive and self-aware and can booty effective criticism and administer it in a absolute way.”
See how the schools you’re because landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best executive, full-time, and online MBA programs.
How To Write Reference Letter For Graduate School – How To Write Reference Letter For Graduate School
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