Support e-mails are short letters sent by an MBA student, alumnus or professor of a certain school to the admission committee of that school.
Level of impact on admission chances: 1 out of 5
Here is the briefing on support e-mails, based on past meetings with admission committee representatives:
- The support e-mail is written in an informal “internal memo style” to the admission committee or, preferably, to a specific admissions officer that is responsible for your region. It could also be addressed to the head of admissions.
- The support e-mail is written, among other reasons, because the writer is concerned that the school will have the best student body possible.
- The support e-mail honestly describes the length and nature of the relationship. The “superlatives” should be in accordance with the nature and length of the acquaintance. The support e-mail should be “gentle” in nature.
- Support e-mails are usually sent in the few weeks following the application submission date.
- We recommend up to two supporters per school.
- Do not feel discouraged if you have no e-mail supporters. Most candidates do not have any. Effective support e-mails could give you a small advantage in the admission process.
- Extraordinarily strong support e-mails may significantly enhance your candidacy. Ineffective support e-mails may hinder your candidacy (for example, lukewarm content, e-mails that “smell” from nepotism, e-mails that seem to originate from the candidate rather than from the supporter).
- Support e-mails must feel and be authentic. Therefore, they should be different for each “supporter” and each candidate.
- Harvard Business School seems to be exceptional among the b-schools in its approach towards support e-mails this season. HBS will probably be less influenced by such e-mails, at least during this season.
Hope this helps. Much much luck with the process,
The ARINGO Research Team
Tepper School of Business – Carnegie Mellon