Blog

Mission Admission: Look for Personalized Recommendations

Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.

If your supervisor is writing your business school recommendation and you are having trouble ensuring that he/she is putting the proper thought and effort into your letter, you are not alone. Because of this asymmetry of power, a junior employee can only do so much to compel his/her supervisor to commit the necessary time and write thoughtfully. So, before you designate your supervisor as a recommender, you must first perceive how committed this person really is to helping you with your business school candidacy. In particular, your recommender needs to understand that using a single template to create identical letters for multiple business schools is not okay. Each letter must be personalized, and each MBA program’s questions must be answered using specific examples.

If your recommender intends to simply write a single letter and force it to “fit” the school’s questions or to attach a standard letter to the end of the school’s recommendation form (for example, including it in the question “Is there anything else that you think the committee should know about the candidate?”), then he/she could be doing you a disservice. By neglecting to put the proper time and effort into your letter, your recommender is sending a very clear message to the admissions committee: “I don’t really care about this candidate.”

If you cannot convince your recommender to write a personalized letter or to respond to your target school’s individual questions using specific examples, look elsewhere. A well-written personalized letter from an interested party is always far better than a poorly written letter from your supervisor.



onTrack by mbaMission

A first-of-its-kind, on-demand MBA application experience that delivers a personalized curriculum for you and leverages interactive tools to guide you through the entire MBA application process.

Get Started!


Upcoming Events


Upcoming Deadlines

  • Cambridge Judge (Round 1)
  • HBS (Round 1)
  • INSEAD (August Intake)
  • Yale SOM (Round 1)
  • Berkeley Haas (Round 1)

Click here to see the complete deadlines


2024–2025 MBA Essay Tips

Click here for the 2023–2024 MBA Essay Tips


MBA Program Updates

Explore onTrack — mbaMission’s newest offering allowing you to learn at your own pace through video. Learn more