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MBA News: Recommendations for Recommendations

Dee Leopold, Admissions Director of Harvard Business School, recently posted a few useful tips on recommendation selection.  First and foremost, as all admissions officers will tell you, you should consider the nature of and closeness of your working relationship ahead of your recommender’s title. Rather than ask those who are high-up the org-chart and will write a letter full of praiseful adjectives but do not know you all that well, you should ask those who will offer credible examples that showcase who you are as a subordinate. Indeed, HBS does not want peer recommendations, but finds it helpful when candidates choose recommenders who have more experience than you. If you are concerned that your relationship to the recommender will not be clear, Ms. Leopold invites you to write a brief explanation in the additional information section to explain your choices. Finally it is important to note that HBS is looking out for you. Ms. Leopold advises that you not take unnecessary risks in asking for a recommendation. If you think that tipping your business school hand could have a detrimental impact on your career, feel free to ask past employers and explain your choices to the AdCom.




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