Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
As the second round of application deadlines approaches, many candidates find themselves immersed in stress, busy juggling multiple essays and constantly revising their resume. Often in the midst of all this, an alarming question suddenly springs to mind: “What if my supervisors don’t get their letters done by the deadline?”
In our opinion, the easiest way to ensure that your recommenders complete their letters on time is to present them with your own deadline—one that is a bit earlier than the school’s—when you first ask them to provide a recommendation for you. If the application to your school of choice is due on January 15, for example, tell your recommenders that you are submitting on January 8. (Incidentally, submitting your application early can be good for your sanity as well.) By setting this advanced deadline, you can put some additional pressure on your recommender on the 8th if he/she has not yet finished the letter, so you should still be able to submit on time (i.e., by the school’s official deadline).
Most people work to deadlines. Alleviate unnecessary stress by setting your recommenders’ deadlines one week early, and “enjoy” the application process a little bit more.
For more information on properly selecting, communicating with and managing your recommenders, check out our Letters of Recommendation Guide.