Sample MBA Recommendation Letter Demonstrating Leadership

Here's an example plus tips for getting great letters

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As part of the admissions process, most MBA programs ask students to submit MBA recommendation letters from a current or former employer. The admissions committee wants to know more about your work ethic, teamwork capability, leadership ability, and work experience. This information helps them to determine whether you would be a good fit for their business program.

Tips for a Great MBA Recommendation Letter

The best MBA recommendation letters support the rest of your business school application by providing details about your work experience, leadership, and personal qualities.

They can push borderline candidates into the acceptance stack. Here's what makes a great letter:

Choose your recommenders wisely. Business schools would rather see professional recommendations than academic recommendations, preferably from your current supervisor. Your MBA recommenders should be able to speak in detail about your qualifications, supporting the points you made in your essays. If you don't know many people who can do this, start cultivating some.

Prepare your recommenders well. While it's not advised to write your own recommendations for others to sign, you should provide your recommenders with the necessary background information to write compelling letters. This should include:

  • The resume you plan to submit with your application
  • A statement of purpose indicating how you’re presenting yourself in your application. If you haven't written it, provide a rough outline of what you plan to say.
  • Talking points. Remind them of projects you managed that they can use to highlight your skills.
  • A list of schools to which you are applying
  • A list of deadlines. Ask for recommendations well in advance of deadlines.
  • Instructions for how to submit letters, through the school’s online system or by mail. If your schools require mailed letters, include envelopes and postage.

    Send a thank-you note. Send it two weeks before the deadline, which will also provide a gentle reminder if the recommendation hasn't been written. Once you get your decisions, let your recommenders know how it turned out.

    Sample MBA Letter of Recommendation

    This sample letter of recommendation was written for an MBA applicant. The letter writer made an effort to discuss the applicant's leadership and management experience.

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Janet Doe has worked for me as a resident manager for the past three years. Her responsibilities have included leasing, inspecting apartments, hiring maintenance staff, taking tenants' complaints, making sure common areas look presentable, and keeping track of the property budget.

    During her time here she has had an amazing impact on the appearance and financial turnaround at the property. The property was near bankruptcy when Janet took over. She turned things around almost immediately, and as a result we are expecting our second year of profit.

    Janet is highly respected by her co-workers for her willingness to help anyone anytime she can. She has been instrumental in helping institute new companywide cost-saving procedures. She is very well organized, diligent in her paperwork, easily reachable, and always on time.

    Janet has real leadership potential. I would highly recommend her for your MBA program.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Smith
    Regional Property Manager