Sunday, June 6

How i selected my recommenders??

Selecting recommendors is a tough job. This task not only reflects your judgement ability {as to who can write favourably for you} but also decides the fate of your application. And its cliche to say that the title of recommendor hardly matters. SO, look for a person who can cover most of your professional life and who would be happy to write favourably for you. Last year i heard one of my friends abusing his supervisor for missing the deadlines to submit the reco.  If you can ask right people to write good recos for you it shows that you have good persuasive skills {imp. for a manager}.

I had 6 options when it came to selecting recommendors. 4 out of 6 have supervised me at some point of time in my career and the other 2 have been my clients for whom i have worked on various projects. I have been reporting into the same person for more than 3 years now, so he was the obvious choice.

Only concern -- I might not get opportunities to travel abroad, to setup new teams, or to expand my team once i disclose my plans to him. But this person has seen me progress professionally as well as has delegated variety of responsibilities my way, so i could not afford to lose his insights on my application. I was apprehensive about revealing my MBA plans to my current supervisor but last week i did so. And to my surprise he encouraged me to go for an MBA and was happy to write recos for me.

Even schools say that one of the 2 recos should ideally come from current supervisor. In case your supervisor has changed recently, mention that in your rationale behind selecting the recommendors. {Most of the schools often ask for the rationale behind selecting a particular recommendor.}My supervisor is well versed with my shortcomings and strengths. He has seen me take numerous initiatives at work place and has also given me numer of opportunities to lead projects and people. So, my task is cut out -- simply share anecdotes from past 3 years to support his claims.

Choosing the 2nd recommendor was tough. I wanted to go with one of my clients, she has an impressive title and when i disclosed my plans to her she was very excited. She could very well write about my client handling experience and about the high impact projects delivered by my team. But, apart from project management she could hardly reveal anything.

My 2nd client does not have very good communication skills and getting 4 recos from her would have been a humongous task. Among my past supervisors, one of them {say recommendor b}currently audits the work that my team does. This person made most sense to me because he has supervised me in my very early days, when i was raw and has seen my now when i am a lot more mature {atleast i think so ;) }. I chose mr. b as my 2nd recommendor. He is the one who can cover last 4.5 years of my professional history and since he has worked very closely with me on some of the projects , i am sure he can vouch favourably for my candidacy.

In sum, choose your recommendors in such a way that most of the professional life is covered, the recommendations reveal various aspects of your personality and that some of the claims made in essays can be backed by recommendors.

I would be happy to see suggestions of fellow bloggers.


Ellipsing My Business School said...

congrats! big sigh of relief huh?

SiD... said...

Your manager knows how you performed as a part of the team.
But can he tell how you performed as a leader. May be that element should reflect in your recommendations (of course it has to align with your Story)
If something like a 360 degree is happening in the organisation, it reflects in your assessment... but in case not, is it advisable to take recos from juniors? or may be peers.

U have obviously decided your recommenders but can give your views for the benefit of people who will be doing it in near future..

KT said...

@Sid-- it is not advisable to take recos from peers or juniors or friends -- they might write good recos under influence ;) ... b-schools clearly state that someone who has supervised your work or who has closely monitored your professional development should write recos...

And i think my recommendors can talk about my leadership experiences. :)

Linda Abraham said...


Accepted's Judy Gruen responded to your post at .

Linda Abraham

KT said...

@Linda -- I feel honored :) .. many thanks to Judy...