It is important for MBA applicants to recognize that recommendations are just as important as the MBA admission essays. Recommendations help distinguish you for admissions committees through a third-party lens. You can be rejected from a top program on the basis of one unexceptional recommendation alone. Just as your essays should draw a favorable picture of your contributing attributes, your recommendations should do the same. What can you bring to the school and the program? Are you exceptional compared with your peers? How do your goals and background set you apart from other applicants? The recommendations should answer questions like these and provide a compelling portrait of the student and future businessperson you will be.
For business schools that have application deadlines in early January, remember to bear in mind that many people who you may ask to write recommendations for you will take winter vacations in the last two weeks of December and the first week of January – right when your applications might be coming due! This may make those recommendation writers hard to get in touch with. Approach recommendation writers as early as possible, and try to work with them to get the recommendations completed and submitted in a timely manner.
Good luck in the admissions process!
Dr. Shel (Shelly Watts)