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Practical Advice When Managing Your MBA Recommenders

Recommenders play an extremely important role in supporting your candidacy in the MBA application process.  By providing context in their recommendation letters on your strengths and areas of development, they help Admissions Committees get a more complete picture of who you are.  As a result, it is important to be able to guide your recommenders effectively through this part of the process.  To that end, here is some practical advice to keep in mind.

Make the ask in a timely fashion

Your recommenders are busy people; therefore, it is imperative to be respectful of their time.  It is always a good idea to ask your recommenders if they would be willing to write a recommendation letter on your behalf in a timely fashion; in doing so, you will be giving them enough time to write the strongest recommendation letters possible.  This is even more important if you are applying to multiple MBA programs as time and effort are required for each school.  Note that your recommenders do not want to be writing letters at the last minute.  Moreover, you should not be running the risk that your recommenders will be unable to submit their letters by the MBA application deadlines.

Provide your recommenders with material outlining the work that you have done together

Let us repeat this again – your recommenders are busy people.  Therefore, it can be extremely helpful to provide your recommenders with material that outlines the work that you have done together along with a copy of your resume.  Recommenders can then draw upon that material to write their recommendation letters.  Many of our clients have gotten very positive feedback from their recommenders that the material that they gave them was extremely useful and made the letter writing process easier and more seamless.

Periodically follow-up

To ensure that your recommenders have all of the information that they need and are on track with respect to submitting your recommendation letters on time, we suggest periodically following-up with them.  You know your recommenders best, so use your judgement as to what is the right frequency for periodic check-in points (and this may vary with your recommenders).  Gently checking in with your recommenders to make sure that they are making progress will make the process go smoothly for both you and them.

Have back-up recommenders in mind

Unfortunately, things do not always work out as planned, which is why it never hurts to have back-up recommenders in mind in case your original recommenders are unable to complete their letters for one reason or another.  The last thing you need is to be scrambling to secure another recommender after one of your original recommenders has excused himself or herself from the process.  Having one or two back-up recommenders that you can potentially turn to will reduce any angst as you get closer to the application deadlines.


Utilizing these tips to manage your MBA recommenders will help you immensely in your MBA application journey!

About Ivy Groupe:

Ivy Groupe is a boutique MBA admissions consulting company founded by Shaifali Aggarwal, who has been recognized as a top MBA admissions consultant by Business Insider and Poets & Quants. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Shaifali’s philosophy focuses on authenticity and storytelling to help clients craft compelling and differentiated applications that stand out. With this approach, Shaifali’s clients have gained admission to top-tier MBA programs such as Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Kellogg, MIT, Columbia, Booth, Tuck, and Yale, among others.

Click on the links to learn more about our company and how you can work with us to maximize your chances of gaining admission to the MBA programs of your choice.

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