If you’re an MBA applicant to Columbia Business School, what does admissions expect to hear from your two required recommenders?
If you have been working full-time for at least six months, Columbia believes that one recommendation should be from your current supervisor. The second recommendation should be from either a former direct supervisor or from another professional associate, senior to you, who can add personal insight into your candidacy.
If you are a college senior or have worked full-time for less than six months, at least one, but preferably both, of your recommendations should be from a person who can comment on your managerial abilities. Columbia says you can ask a summer employer or another person who you feel can objectively assess your professional promise. The second recommendation may be from a college professor.
Recommendation questions include:
- What is your relationship to and how long have you known the applicant? Is he or she still employed by your organization?
- Please list three to five adjectives describing the applicant’s strengths.
- Please compare the applicant’s performance to that of his or her peers.
- What does the applicant do best?
- If you were giving feedback to the applicant regarding his or her professional performance and personal effectiveness, in what areas would you suggest he or she work to improve?
- How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts?
- How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace?
- Please rate the applicant’s individual vs. team orientation (1 = most effective as an individual contributor; 5 = focused exclusively on the team) Please elaborate on your rating:
- Please give an example of how the applicant has demonstrated leadership.
- Is there anything else you feel we should know?