Prep Early for Recommendations: A High-Impact Action

Posted By SWatts on Jun 1, 2014 |

From The Staff of MBA
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Prep Early for Recommendations: A High-Impact Action 

The truth is that your recommendations are just as influential in determining your admissions success or failure as your MBA application essays. Unfortunately, many candidates fail to realize this until it’s too late. You can have a picture-perfect candidacy and application in every other way (application form, GMAT score, GPA, essays, resume, work experience and extracurricular record), but a lukewarm or unenthusiastic recommendation can mean a closed door for an interview and admission. This is particularly true if you are from an over-represented profile in the admissions pool.

In the case of the top-5 MBA programs, admissions committees want to see recommendations that indicate you are the best among your peers, that you have strong analytical and leadership skills, that you have some creativity, and that you are headed for great success. If the recommendations simply indicate you are “pretty good” or “second best”, the admissions committees perceive your performance as weak, which could adversely affect your admissions success.

The best advice I can give is to think very hard about who you want to recommend you. From there, take early steps to cultivate a strong relationship with your recommendation writers, making sure they are aware of your successes and goals so that they can reflect this information in their references for you.

Recommendations can make the big difference between admission and rejection!