Sample Business School Recommendation Letter

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Students who are interested in attending a graduate-level business program will need at least one letter of recommendation. This sample recommendation shows what an undergraduate professor might write a recommendation for a graduate school applicant.

Key Components of a Business School Recommendation Letter

  • Written by someone who knows you well
  • Supplements other application materials (e.g., resume and essay)
  • Highlights your strengths and/or counteracts weaknesses, like a low GPA
  • Contains specific examples demonstrating the key points of the letter
  • Accurately reflects who you are and avoids contradicting other parts of your application
  • Well-written, free of spelling and grammar errors, and signed by the letter writer

Sample Recommendation Letter #1

This letter is written for an applicant who wants to major in business. This sample contains all of the key components of a recommendation letter and serves as a good example of what a business school recommendation should look like.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to recommend Amy Petty for your business program. As the General Manager of Plum Products, where Amy is currently employed, I interact with her on an almost daily basis. I am very familiar with her position in the company and her record of excellence. I also conferred with her direct supervisor and other members of the human resources department regarding her performance prior to writing this recommendation.

Amy joined our human resources department three years ago as a Human Resources Clerk. In her first year with Plum Products, Amy worked on an HR project management team that developed a system to increase employee satisfaction by assigning employees to jobs for which they are best-suited. Amy's creative suggestions, which included methods for surveying workers and assessing worker productivity, proved invaluable in the development of our system. The results for our organization have been measurable - turnover was reduced by 15 percent in the year after the system was implemented, and 83 percent of employees reported being more satisfied with their job than they were the year before.

On her 18-month anniversary with Plum Products, Amy was promoted to Human Resources Team Leader. This promotion was a direct result of her contributions to the HR project as well as her exemplary performance review. As a Human Resources Team Leader, Amy has a vital role in the coordination of our administrative functions. She manages a team of five other HR professionals. Her duties involve collaborating with upper management to develop and implement company and departmental strategies, assigning tasks to the HR team, and resolving team conflicts. The members of Amy's team look to her for coaching, and she often serves in a mentor role.

Last year, we altered the organizational structure of our human resources departments. Some of the employees felt a natural behavioral resistance to the change and exhibited varying levels of disenchantment, disengagement, and disorientation. Amy's intuitive nature alerted her to these issues and helped her assist everyone through the change process. She provided guidance, support, and training as necessary to ensure the smoothness of the transition and to improve the motivation, morale, satisfaction of other members on her team.

I consider Amy a valuable member of our organization and would like to see her get the additional education she needs to progress in her management career. I think she would be a good fit for your program and would be able to contribute in numerous ways.

Sincerely,

Adam Brecker, General Manager of Plum Products

Analysis of the Sample Recommendation

Let's examine the reasons why this sample recommendation letter works.

  • The letter writer defines his connection to Amy, explains why he is qualified to write the recommendation and confirms Amy's position within the organization.
  • Recommendations should provide specific examples of accomplishments. This letter does that by mentioning Amy's role and achievements in the HR project.
  • Admission committees want to see professional growth - this letter shows it by mentioning Amy's promotion.
  • Leadership potential and capability are important, especially for individuals applying to top business programs. This letter not only states that Amy is in a leadership position, but it also provides an example related to her leadership capability. 

Sample Recommendation Letter #2

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I am writing to endorse Alice's application to your program. For the last 25 years at Blackmore University, I have been an ethics professor, as well as a mentor to many interns and business students. I hope my perspective will be helpful to you as you evaluate this exceptional candidate.

My first contact with Alice was during the summer of 1997 when she organized a summer conference outside of Los Angeles for teenagers interested in communication skills. During the course of the week, Alice presented material with such ease and humor that she set the tone for the entire workshop. Her creative ideas for presentations and activities were inventive and entertaining; they were also astonishingly effective.

With participants from a variety of backgrounds, there was often conflict, and occasionally confrontation. While setting limits, Alice managed to respond consistently with respect and compassion. The experience had a profound effect on the participants and, because of Alice's exceptional skill and professionalism, she has been invited by many schools to offer similar management workshops.

During the time I have known Alice, she has distinguished herself as a conscientious and energetic pioneer in the fields of leadership and management. I have enormous respect for her teaching and leadership skills and have been pleased to work with her on many occasions.

I know of Alice's continued interest in programs related to leadership and management development. She has instituted many impressive programs for her peers, and it has been an honor to consult with her on some of these projects. I have the greatest admiration for her work.

Your program of study sounds ideally suited to Alice's needs and talents. She will be coming to you with the qualities of a natural leader: genuineness, intelligence, and integrity. She will also bring her interest in scholarly research and program development. Just as importantly, she would come with an enthusiasm for both learning and networking, as well as a resolute desire to understand new theories and ideas. It is exciting to think of the ways in which she might contribute to your program.

I urge you to carefully consider Alice who is, quite simply, the most remarkable young leader I have ever met.

Sincerely,

Professor Aries, St. James Blackmore University