Recommender Questions Published So Far

Recommender Questions for programs that start in 2019

Important Notes
It is essential that you check the school website for the most accurate, complete and up-to-date information.
Especially if you are a re-applicant.

The recommenders should work on the official form, either hardcopy, or online. They should not go by the information contained on this page alone.

Sometimes schools change the questions mid-season, so be aware, and have your recommenders be aware they should verify the questions before submitting their answers.

Pay attention to the word limits.

Something changed? Any comments? Please update us: mistake@aringo.com

All applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. Whomever you choose to write your recommendation, make sure he or she knows you well and can offer specific examples of your performance and contributions to the organization. Avoid choosing people simply based on their title or status. We are more concerned with content and substance rather than reputation.

  • The first letter of recommendation should come from a supervisor. Overall, we are seeking objectivity in the letter, and we want to hear from someone who can assess both your strengths and your weaknesses.
    • We prefer that you use a current supervisor for this recommendation, although we understand that this may not always be possible. If you are unable to use your current supervisor, please explain the circumstances in the optional essay.
    • If you work for a family business or own your own company, please try to secure a letter from a client or outside party who does business with you and can provide an objective assessment of you.
  • The second letter can be professional in nature or come from an individual who has worked with you in an organization, club, or on a volunteer project.These letters can give us a different perspective of your skill sets outside of your professional environment.
    • There is no preference on who supplies your second letter of recommendation.
    • Our only guideline is that it should add new and valuable insight to your candidacy.

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FORM 

The letter of recommendation form is available electronically through the online application system. Once you access that system, you will be asked to provide the names and email addresses of your recommenders. We will then send them an email that includes the link to the online form that they will have to complete. Chicago Booth does not accept letters of recommendation via mail or fax.

We ask that recommenders complete a skills assessment for each applicant, as well as submit a letter answering the following questions:

  • How does the applicant’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Instructions: Please enter information for two individuals you wish to submit recommendations on your behalf. They should be able to speak directly about your performance and professional promise. The Admissions Committee prefers that one recommendation be from your direct supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application. The second recommendation should be from a former supervisor or another professional associate who is senior to you.
Recommendations- Read more about recommendations on our website.
Re-applicants are required to submit just one new recommendation. This recommendation must be from a recommender that you did not use in your previous application.
We expect that you, the applicant, will not participate in the drafting of these recommendations.
Please note that applications are not considered complete until all required information is submitted. This includes recommendations.

All first-time applications require two recommendations. Reapplicants are required to submit one new recommendation. If you have been working full-time for at least six months, one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. If you are unable to secure a recommendation from your direct supervisor, please submit a statement of explanation in the Employment section of your application.The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can share their insights on your candidacy.

If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for fewer than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities. You may ask a summer employer or another person whom you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.

Please note that Columbia Business School and several of our peer institutions use similar, if not identical, recommendation questions. This is an effort on our part to make the process easier for your recommenders. We expect that you, the applicant, will not participate in the drafting of these recommendations.

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RECOMMENDER QUESTIONS

Please consider the following guidelines when writing your recommendation:

  • How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.
  • Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.

Please limit your recommendation to 1000 words. Thank you once again.

Upload a Word or PDF document:

You will need to have two recommendations submitted online by the application deadlines.

Recommenders will be asked to fill out a personal qualities and skills grid and answer our two additional questions (see below).

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all recommendations are submitted online by the deadline date for the round in which the applicant is applying.

Use your best judgment on who you decide to ask – there is no set formula for who should be your recommenders. We know it is not always possible to have a direct supervisor write your recommendation – we would not want you to jeopardize your current position for the application process. Look at the questions we are asking recommenders to complete. Find people who know you well enough to answer them. This can be a former supervisor, a colleague, someone you collaborate on an activity outside of work. How well a person knows you should take priority over level of seniority or HBS alumni status.

Recommender Questions

Recommendations must be completed online. The recommendation form includes the following questions, along with other types of questions:
  1. How do the candidate’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

You must submit two letters of recommendation through the online application. Ideally, one letter should come from a current supervisor or manager. The second should come from someone who can evaluate your professional performance and your managerial/leadership potential (e.g., former supervisor, previous employer, client). If you are unable to ask a current supervisor or manager for a letter of recommendation, you should include a brief explanation in the “Additional Information” section of the application.
The application is not considered complete until we have received both recommendations. Additional letters of support are neither required nor encouraged.

Instructions: Please submit two recommendations from individuals who can objectively assess and speak directly about your leadership and professional promise. Applications are not considered complete until all required information including recommendations are submitted. These recommendations must be received by the application deadline.

RECOMMENDER QUESTIONS:

Context of Relationship

Highest Degree Earned:

Degree Granting Institution

Are you a Kellogg Alumnus?

Have known candidate since:

Please comment briefly on the context of your interaction with the applicant and his/her role in your organization. (textbox, 250 characters)

What has been the candidate’s most significant contribution to your organization? Provide measurable impact if applicable. (textbox, 250 characters)

Leadership Assessment

Listed below you will find a section listing some competencies and character traits that contribute to successful leadership. For each item, please select the response corresponding to the behavior that the candidate most typically exhibits. Your candid, honest appraisal of the candidate will be helpful to the Admissions Committee.
Please assess the candidate on the following skills/qualities: (for each skill, select from drop-down menu)

  • Results Orientation
  • Strategic Orientation
  • Team Leadership
  • Influence and Collaboration
  • Communicating
  • Information Seeking
  • Developing Others
  • Change Leadership
  • Respect for Others
  • Trustworthiness

Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this candidate compared to her/his peer group? (select)

If needed, please explain any rankings above. (textbox, 250 characters)

Do you recommend this candidate for Kellogg? (select)

Are you willing to speak with an admissions officer about this candidate? (select)

Should the candidate accept an offer of admission, I understand I may be contacted by Re Vera Services as part of the application verification process, via phone and/or email, to verify authenticity of this letter of recommendation. (please type your full legal name)

Recommendation Upload

Please address all of the following questions:

1. Kellogg has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of others with differing perspectives and backgrounds. Please tell us about a time when you witnessed the candidate living these values. (300 words)

2. How does the candidate’s performance compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)

3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the candidate. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)

4. (Optional) Is there anything else you would like us to know?

Upload a Word or PDF document:

Michigan Ross uses the GMAC Common Recommendation Form, and we require only one recommendation. You should select a recommender who can discuss your professional performance and work style.  A current or former supervisor is an ideal choice. Other alternatives include a client, project manager, or professional mentor. Your recommender should be able to answer the following questions about you:

  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words).
  2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (500 words)
  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)

IMPORTANT: This is NOT the official recommendation, but rather a list of the questions that will be sent to the individual you identify as your recommender in the online application. The actual recommendation and ratings form must be submitted online by your recommender. Your application is not considered complete until we receive your recommendation.

EQ Endorsements

Choosing Your Endorsers

  • You are required to submit two EQ Endorsements with your application.
  • One EQ Endorsement must come from your current supervisor. If you cannot include an endorsement from your current supervisor, you must provide an explanation in the online application.
  • The second EQ Endorsement may come from someone who knows you professionally and/or personally.
  • EQ Endorsements should come from individuals who can objectively assess your potential for success in NYU Stern’s MBA program and in your future career, and who can act as a persuasive advocate of your EQ strengths.
  • Immediate family members should not write your EQ endorsement.
  • Submitting more than two EQ endorsements is not encouraged but is allowed. Please carefully consider whether additional endorsements add significant value and a new and unique perspective to your application.

EQ Endorsement Questions

Your endorsers will be asked to rate you on a number of abilities and qualities, as well as provide an answer to these five questions:

  • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization.
  • How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles (if applicable)? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
  • IQ+EQ is a core value of NYU Stern, and we seek exceptional individuals who possess both intellectual and interpersonal strengths. Emotional intelligence (EQ) skills such as self-awareness, empathy, communication and self-management are at the core of our community of leaders. Please provide one specific and compelling example to demonstrate the applicant’s emotional intelligence.
  • (Optional) Is there anything else we should know?

Your endorsers may answer these questions in the endorsement form or by uploading a Word or PDF document.

EQ endorsements must be submitted online.

  • If your endorser cannot submit an online endorsement, you must email sternmba@stern.nyu.edu to explain the circumstances and request approval for your endorser to submit a paper endorsement.
  • If your endorser cannot complete a endorsement in English, he or she will need to complete a paper endorsement, following the instructions above, and have it translated into English. A certified English translation through a translating service must be obtained and submitted in a sealed envelope with the original endorsement, endorsed across the seal.

Stories about your behaviors, impact, and personal qualities told by others play an essential role in our evaluation of your application. Your letters of reference should provide specific examples and anecdotes that illustrate your ability and desire to make a difference in the world.

Requirements

Two letters of reference are required for your application to the Stanford MBA Program; three letters of reference are required for the Stanford MSx Program. If you are applying to both programs, designate one letter you would like to be reviewed by the MSx Admissions Office only. Both programs will review the other two letters.

Of the two letters reviewed by both admissions offices:

  • One reference from your current direct supervisor (or next best alternative) at work
  • One reference from someone else who has supervised your work

Letters of reference must be submitted by the deadline of the round in which you apply. You must not write, or have any involvement in, the drafting, translation, or submission of the letters.

Current Direct Supervisor Reference

You must obtain at least one recommendation from your current direct supervisor. We understand, however, that you may be in a situation that prevents you from providing a reference from your current direct supervisor. For example, you may:

  • Be self-employed
  • Work for a family business in which a family member is your supervisor
  • Have begun a new position where your direct supervisor does not know you well
  • Have not notified your direct supervisor that you are applying to business school
  • Be a student

If you are unable to provide a letter from your current direct supervisor, use your judgment in finding a source for your recommendation — a previous supervisor, an indirect manager, a client, a member of your board of directors, or any other individual who supervises your work.

If you don’t have full-time work experience, you may use a direct supervisor from a summer, part-time, or internship position. Alternatively, you may ask someone who managed you in an extracurricular, research, volunteer, or community activity.

Second Reference

The second reference should come from someone who has supervised your work. The strongest references typically come from your workplace. You may select a reference from your professional, community, or extracurricular experiences. Having two references from the same organization is fine. We recognize that work environments are fluid, so we give you the option of choosing the individual who can best represent your potential impact.

Choosing Your Recommenders

We are impressed by what a reference letter says, not by the title or background of the individual who wrote it or the writing skills of the recommender. You should choose individuals who:

  • Know you well through significant, direct involvement with you within the last three years.
  • Will provide detailed anecdotes and examples to support their assertions.
  • Are truly enthused to write a recommendation for you and will spend sufficient time writing a thoughtful letter.

We require your first recommendation to come from your current direct supervisor. We have no preference, however, between another supervisor and a peer for your second recommendation.

Deferred Enrollment

If you are currently a full-time student, we encourage you to select recommenders who have supervised your extra-curricular activities or work, such as internships or part-time jobs.

The letter you submit should address the prompts listed in the Stanford application; outdated or general letters do not strengthen a candidate’s application.

Guidelines

Your letter of reference should be submitted in English. If you think your English is not sufficient to convey complex ideas, write the letter in your native language, and then have it translated into English. A friend, a colleague, or a paid service may translate the document, but the applicant or the applicant’s friend or family member may not.

Make sure to double-space your letter and to follow the word guidelines listed below.

In addition to your qualitative responses, we will ask you to assess some of the candidate’s character traits and competencies that contribute to successful leadership.

Questions We Ask You

Below is the specific information that you should include in your recommendation. The letter should be two to four pages in total.

  1. How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) Up to 500 words
  2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. Up to 500 words
  3. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know? Please be concise.

Submitting Your Letter of Reference

You must submit your letter of reference through the online application for the MBA Program. We strongly suggest that you submit your letter at least one day prior to the application deadline.

Once your candidate registers you through the application, you will receive an email confirmation with login instructions. Use that email to access the application, then upload the file that contains your recommendation. If your letter was translated into English, upload the letter both in the language in which you wrote it and in English, and provide the contact information for the translator.

If you have technical issues while uploading your recommendation, click the “Tech Support” button for assistance.

The new Letter of Recommendation component of our application will be broken into two sections:

  • A selection of positive personality characteristics. Recommenders will be asked to choose three characteristics from a list of ten that best describe the candidate they are recommending.
  • Two free-form questions:
    • Question 1: Please provide example(s) that illustrate why you believe this candidate will find success in the Wharton MBA classroom. (Word count: 300)
    • Question 2: Please provide example(s) that illustrate why you believe this candidate will find success throughout their career. (Word count: 300)

We require two letters of recommendations from individuals who are well acquainted with your performance in a work setting, preferably from a current or former supervisor.

The title or position of the recommender is not as important as his/her ability to comment knowledgeably and specifically about you. Submit recommendations from people who can speak directly about your aptitudes and capabilities.

We require all recommendations to be submitted electronically. After you have contacted your recommenders, please complete the form on the Recommendations page.

After selecting your recommenders, it is possible that you’ll need to alter this selection. If a recommender has not begun their recommendation, you can delete them and assign another recommender.  Please note that your new recommender will not appear on the recommendation page of your application, however we will see the new listing when you submit your application.

If you or a recommender have questions, please reach out to mbarecs@wharton.upenn.edu.

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