In this video, Stacy Blackman guides applicants through the process of selecting a recommender for their MBA application and gives helpful tips and reminders to make sure you’ve made the best choice.
The first person to go to seek a recommendation from is your boss. If that is not an option for you, reach out to someone who knows you from a professional or extracurricular setting. Stacy explains:
Many applicants in the pool have received recommendations from people as prominent as the First Lady of the United States, international heads of state, very prominent CEO’s from important corporations. It’s not uncommon, but it won’t get you accepted to the programme. None of that is nearly as important as selecting someone who is well positioned to write an honest, informative, thoughtful, insightful letter about you. In other words, someone who knows you well.
Check out: MBA Recommenders are Your Best Advocates
An important step prior to choosing who your recommender will be, is to take a look at the questions that will be asked of him or her. They might start by asking to comment on your relationship and confirmation of job title, dates of employment and work duties, and afterwards get a deeper understanding of your performance, accountability and strengths and weaknesses. Be sure that your recommender will be able to not only answer the questions, but present you in the best light by providing thoughtful responses.
Try to stay away from professors or family friends. Another tip is to try to think less about the prestige of the recommender’s position and more about placement— how the individual you are choosing is placed in your life, and what they will write about you.
Stacy concludes by quoting W. Clement Stone:
Be careful of the environment you choose for it will shape you. Be careful of the friends you choose for you will become like them.
Watch the video to get a clear understanding of Stacy’s advice, and best of luck with your application!