Recommendations - Who & Good Example

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Have a couple of questions about the recommendation? 1\. Is it a good idea to get a recommendations from an ex-Subordinate/Team member? I know that the position is not what the colleges look at but the content. If you are sure that someone w...
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Thanks a lot for all your responses.

In having an ex-Subordinate as one of the recommenders, I was looking at variety in the recommendations. I have been speaking with various folks whom I have worked with including current boss, ex-boss, ex-peer, business user/client and was thinking whether an ex-Subordinate reference would add another dimension to the recommendations.

Most of the business school ask for 2 recommendations and an additional recommendation only in case it will give a different perspective about the candidate. Was looking at the ex-Subordinate recommendation for this space. I totally agree getting a recommendation from your current subordinate will not add value as adcom might think that you have influenced the recommendation, Thats the reason I was looking at one of the ex-team member.

baccardisprite - Thanks a lot for a detailed approach for a good recommendation.

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1. I wouldn't recommend a subordinate as it's likely to give the impression that this person will write what you want him / her to write...

2. A good approach. Do one thing, .............


Yup,this pal is right.Addition to this, taking recos from subordinate(somewhat risky) but ex-subordinate is good.It also shows the connection between you and other peerz.Also it add variety to your to recos.:satisfie:
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Have a couple of questions about the recommendation?

1. Is it a good idea to get a recommendations from an ex-Subordinate/Team member? I know that the position is not what the colleges look at but the content. If you are sure that someone who have worked under you in past will give a good recommendation and understanding of your strenght - should you be considering him/her as one of the recommenders

2. Are there any good sample recommendations that can be provided in case a recommenders asks for it? I was planning of giving my resume, some data points on what I would like to do after MBA, etc and may be one of the essays. But I have one of the recommenders asking if I can give some good sample!!!

Any suggestions


1. I wouldn't recommend a subordinate as it's likely to give the impression that this person will write what you want him / her to write... A well written peer recommendation however, (and I think Stanford explicitly asks for one) can be truly insightful for an adcomm and value adding to your overall application, as the peer would state/rationalize your future goals and potential in a very equal sort of way. A peer is also likely to present a less jargon-filled opinion of your professional strengths and areas for improvement. Even though I wasn't required to do so, I asked my CFO (I was the COO) of my last organization pre-MBA to write one of my recommendations. So I agree with this approach. The risk of a peer recommendation is the impression of immaturity or any influence on your part, which you must ask the recommender to avoid. Sharp, crisp communication, well written examples of where you shone through (leadership & initiative) and where you also encouraged him/her/others to shine through (teamwork & empathy), perfect grammar and sentence construction will make an altogether great letter.

2. A good approach. Do one thing, take the recommender out for lunch/dinner or even ask for some time in the office (if a direct supervisor). Even if such a draft isn't available publicly, work out a possible draft on your own and along the lines of:

Opener - Introduction, which contains the reason for the letter (i.e recommending you) + writer introduces self + states how long and in what capacity he/she has known you. 75-100 words.

Body 1 - The strongest example of your professional strengths through first a generic statements about the project you completed or led + more specific insights into what hard and soft skills you displayed. A second example to perhaps add & convey some more skills (like team skills) if this is required. It would be worthwhile to mention what changes he/she has seen in you over the period he/she has known and worked with you. Again, the recommender must be specific. 300-400 words. Try also to have three different examples so each of your recommenders has three different stories to tell, unless your project was large enough for different recommenders to have observed different strengths.

Body 2 - Now looking to your stated goals, the writer moves towards analysing the goal, and rationalizing why it makes sense. However the writer now conveys his/her own thoughts as to what professional and personal improvements you need to make in order to achieve your goals, and why the MBA is a means to that end. It would be useful if your recommender is familiar with the value addition to one's career and personality that comes from an MBA. 250-300 words

Closing - Requesting positive consideration for your application, the recommender completes the letter in a professional manner reinforcing his/her belief that you will be a strong addition to the XXX School's MBA class...

Remember this is NOT the only format, and I admit it looks slightly dated, staid and boring. But whatever the format / presentation of the letter, the content must reflect the above.

Therefore choose recommenders who not only know you well professionally and personally but those who genuinely like you!
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1. Is it a good idea to get a recommendations from an ex-Subordinate/Team member? I know that the position is not what the colleges look at but the content. If you are sure that someone who have worked under you in past will give a good recommendation and understanding of your strenght - should you be considering him/her as one of the recommenders


This is not a good idea. The AdCom is unlikely to give weightage to such a recommendation because the likelihood of the an applicant's influence on the sub-ordinate writing the recommendation is high.
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Have a couple of questions about the recommendation?

1. Is it a good idea to get a recommendations from an ex-Subordinate/Team member? I know that the position is not what the colleges look at but the content. If you are sure that someone who have worked under you in past will give a good recommendation and understanding of your strenght - should you be considering him/her as one of the recommenders

2. Are there any good sample recommendations that can be provided in case a recommenders asks for it? I was planning of giving my resume, some data points on what I would like to do after MBA, etc and may be one of the essays. But I have one of the recommenders asking if I can give some good sample!!!

Any suggestions

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