Business School Admission Tips:
Recommendation Letters

Looking for more information on how to put together a competitive application to the Simon School? Today’s post is going to share details on recommendation letters. To start, recommendation letters are used by our committee to give a third-party perspective on your skills, background, and experiences. We are hoping that they provide validation to what you say about yourself and what we assess when we interact with you during the application process.

Some tips and guidelines for recommendations:

  • Choose individuals to recommend you who know you well, not just someone holding a high-level title. They should be able to give specific and detailed information on your personal and/or professional accomplishments.
  • We prefer at least one recommendation from an immediate supervisor – either your current supervisor, or a recent past supervisor. If you are conducting a confidential graduate school search, you are encouraged to find a current client, mentor, or team leader who has oversight for your work. Do not choose a peer, subordinate, or relative to write a recommendation.
  • Schedule an informal time to sit down with each of your recommenders at least two months prior to when your recommendations are due. Share your interest in attending graduate business school, your career plans, and a copy of your current resume. This will provide important background information that they can use in providing a compelling assessment on your candidacy.
  • Be honest with them about areas of development that you have identified – especially if they are likely to be addressed through graduate study in business. This shows self-awareness and also provides more opportunity for a balanced recommendation – something we will expect.
  • Remind your recommenders at least two weeks prior to the application deadline, if they have not already submitted their recommendations and then send a thank you note once they have been submitted.

Next, we’ll be discussing GMAT scores – especially how they are used along with your academic record to assess your readiness for graduate study in business.

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