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Getting the best MBA recommendations

Recommendations are a key component of your MBA application, and allow the admissions committee to gain additional perspective on your skills, character, and motivation for pursuing your MBA. Here are some of our recommendations best practices.

Who should I ask to be my recommender? Woman-on-laptop-choosing-MBA-recommenders

You’ll need two professional recommendations, preferably from supervisors. If you haven’t approached your supervisor about the MBA program, consider another leader within your organization who can appropriately identify your strengths and weaknesses. A common myth is to have the most senior individual at an organization complete the recommendation. In reality, obtaining a recommendation from someone who knows you well and can share specific examples of your work is more helpful to us as we review your application.

>> Check out all of our Full-Time MBA application requirements

Other than my employer, who should I consider as a recommender?

If you volunteer, colleagues within the organization could provide insight on your work ethic and productivity. In addition, you may want to consider clients or vendors with whom you have a business relationship.

What if I work for a family-owned or sole proprietor business?

We prefer non-family representatives to provide a recommendation, so if you work for a family-owned or sole proprietor business, you may want to consider external vendors or clients. This said, if you believe a familial partner would provide a valuable recommendation, please contact our office at 919-962-3236 or mba_info@unc.edu to discuss this situation.

When should I send the letter of recommendation forms?

First, be sure to ask your chosen recommenders if they would be willing to write a recommendation on your behalf. You’ll want to send the recommendation forms to them as soon as possible to give them plenty of time to complete them.

What should be in a recommendation letter?

We provide your recommender with a form that guides them through their assessment. This form creates efficiency for your recommender, while providing the contextual information to evaluate your candidacy.

What should I tell my recommenders to write?

The more specific the content, the better. Suggest that the recommenders write directly about a goal that you’ve reached or a strength that you’re known for at your organization. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes for your recommender to complete the form.

What if my recommenders are unresponsive to my invitation?

People are busy, so two reminders of your request are acceptable. Give them ample time to complete the form and provide them with a deadline. Reinforce why the MBA is important to you and that the admissions committee reviews recommendations closely. If your recommender still doesn’t take action after two reminders, it’s best to consider an alternative individual. You can make that change within your MBA application.

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7.7.2019