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Admissions Tip: Managing Your Recommenders

Following up on last week’s posting about recommender selection, here are a few tips on how to manage your supervisors as they embark on the writing process:

Managing your recommenders
Because your recommenders are likely quite busy, you should make the process as easy and painless as possible for them. You should first approach them several months before the deadline to ask if they would be willing to write you a letter of recommendation – this will provide them with the time to write and revise a letter at their leisure.

Following that initial meeting, you should take steps to make sure that you and your recommender are on the same page. In addition to talking to them about the ideal recommendation letter, you should provide your recommenders with a number of materials about your background and candidacy. These materials should include your resume as a summary of your experiences; your career goals essay to give them an idea of your career goals and reasons for seeking an MBA. You should also develop several things specifically for your recommenders, such as a list of strengths and weaknesses they may want to discuss in their letter, a list of projects you have worked on together to work as a memory aid, and a description of your target schools, explaining the qualities for which the schools are known and why you are interested in them. The information included in each of these documents will make the recommender’s job easier – something which they will appreciate and which will allow them to construct a letter that builds upon your other application materials.

You should also monitor your recommenders’ progress after they have agreed to write a recommendation letter for you. While you should certainly be careful not to pester your recommenders, some applicants find that it is productive to establish a timeline with their recommenders to help keep them on task. Your recommender will need to know the order in which they should work on your recommendation letters and the date by which you would like to have submitted them.

Stay tuned to this blog for more tips as the admissions season for the class of 2008 unfolds. Applicants may also contact us with their CV/resume for a free initial assessment of their candidacy. Send CVs/resumes to

Posted in: Admissions Tips


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