- Identify referrals early. I have chosen my current manager and one of my previous managers as I worked directly with them and they were best placed to comment on my performance, analytical abilities, strengths and weaknesses.
- I also explained to my referrals on why I intended to do the course, how the course will be helpful to me and the organization. The more clarity you have, the better are the chances for your referral to put in some effort to write a good reco.
- Never write recommendation letter yourselves, send a few bullet points if you have not worked recently with the referral and ask him to write the letter covering your accomplishments, areas of improvements etc.
- I have done a 360 degree survey. Please see my next post on why and how I conducted 360 degree feedback from my peers and team members with a set of questions. My manager has referred to these results while writing the reco in addition to his own assessment. The survey results also helped me when I wrote the application essays. Though most managers with 12+ years’ experience are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, it is always interesting to see the perception of peers and team members. In fact 360 degree feedback results helped with some instances that I used in my essays.
- Alumnus Recommendation*: LBS takes pride in it alumni and if you know an alumnus who knows you well and worked with you professionally, you can request for a recommendation. Before you approach the alumnus for recommendation make sure you have clarity of thought on why you want to get into your program, your objectives post program and plans for financing the course fees. This will give the alumnus confidence to recommend you if you are well prepared and serious about getting into the program.
I was fortunate to be recommended by an alumnus as well. I would like to thank him again through this forum for taking time out of his busy schedule to guide me through this journey. He took an informal interview for about 20 minutes to evaluate my interests and I was glad that I was prepared with the above answers.
There are two good things about an alumnus recommendation.
- An alumnus recommendation should definitely add some weightage to your overall application. I am assuming this because a Sloan fellow knows what is required of a Sloan aspirant.
- LBS waives the application fees if you are recommended by LBS Alumni. However, note that the alumnus must have worked with you professionally and must write in detail a letter of recommendation stating your fitment to the class.
*It is important to note that an alumnus recommendation does not guarantee an admission if other parts of the application are not really up to the mark.
Please check the Sloan Programme application form for more details.