Harvard | Mr. Consumer Goods Senior Manager
GMAT 740, GPA 8.27/10
Berkeley Haas | Mr. Evolving Teacher
GRE 328, GPA 3.26
Columbia | Mr. Indian I-Banker
GMAT 740, GPA 8.63
Cornell Johnson | Ms. Chef Instructor
GMAT 760, GPA 3.3
UCLA Anderson | Ms. Tech-y Athlete
GRE , GPA 3.63
Harvard | Mr. Deferred Financial Poet
GMAT 710, GPA 3.68
Harvard | Mr. Lieutenant To Consultant
GMAT 760, GPA 3.7
Berkeley Haas | Ms. EV Evangelist
GRE 334, GPA 2.67
Wharton | Ms. Product Manager
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. Indian Engineer + MBA Now In Consulting
GMAT 760, GPA 8.7 / 10
Chicago Booth | Mr. EduTech
GRE 337, GPA 3.9
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Indonesian Salesperson
GMAT 660, GPA 3.49
Berkeley Haas | Mr. LGBT+CPG
GMAT 720, GPA 3.95
McCombs School of Business | Ms. Tech For Non-Profits
GRE 312, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. Combat Pilot Non-Profit Leader
GRE 329, GPA 3.73
UCLA Anderson | Mr. Actual Poet
GMAT 720, GPA 12.0/14
MIT Sloan | Mr. Indian Healthcare Analytics
GMAT 720, GPA 7.8
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare Administration & Policy Latino Advocate
GRE 324, GPA 3.4
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Asian Mexican Finance Hombre
GMAT 650, GPA 2.967
Stanford GSB | Mr. Filipino Startup
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. Fintech Data Scientist
GMAT 710, GPA 3.66
Tuck | Mr. Opportunities In MBB
GMAT 710, GPA 3.4
Stanford GSB | Mr. Co-Founder & Analytics Manager
GMAT 750, GPA 7.4 out of 10.0 - 4th in Class
Harvard | Mr. Strategy For Social Good
GRE 325, GPA 3.5
MIT Sloan | Mr. Spaniard
GMAT 710, GPA 7 out of 10 (top 15%)
NYU Stern | Ms. Hopeful NYU Stern Marketing Ph.D.
GRE 297, GPA 2.8
Harvard | Mr. Strategy Consultant Middle East
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4

How To Ask For Business School Recommendations

Ask for business school recommendations

It’s an honor to be asked to write business school recommendations, and also a big responsibility. Taking these steps will help you get great results, and also shows your recommenders that you appreciate their support.

  • Get organized.

Create a document with a list of all the schools you are applying to, and the questions themselves. (You can find the forms on the school’s website, or through a google search.) Highlight the recurrent themes – there is a surprising amount of content overlap, and some schools even use a common form. Your recommenders will hopefully be reassured about the scope of the work.

  • Polish your resume and goal statement.

Along with this comprehensive document, please give your recommenders a brief goal statement and the resume that you have optimized for business school. They can’t advocate for you if they don’t know what you want to do – “I think that Jim wants to go back to school to be a consultant” isn’t terribly compelling.

  • Brainstorm – but don’t script.

After your recommenders have had a chance to review your materials, set up a time to strategize with them. Tell them more about your strengths and weaknesses as a candidate, so that they can offer details that help you present an optimized profile. Share relevant personal information that they might not have known, like the fact that you were a varsity athlete or the first in your family to go to college. Finally, offer to help them think about powerful illustrations for some of the trickier questions, like how you handle feedback or conflict. It’s really important not to write this content down for them, even in bullet form – the responses need to be in the recommender’s own words.

  • Set deadlines.

To avoid stress and weird dynamics, set clear deadlines. It’s completely legitimate to tell your recommenders that you plan to submit the week before the application is due (that is your plan, right?) and that your application isn’t complete without their recommendation. Some candidates also find it useful to establish interim check-ins, which can alleviate stress on both sides.

These concrete steps will help you ask for business school recommendations the right way, and enable your recommenders to advocate on your behalf.


 Karen has more than 12 years of experience evaluating candidates for admission to Dartmouth College and to the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Since founding North Star Admissions Consulting in 2012, she has helped applicants gain admission to the nation’s top schools, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, MIT, Tuck, Columbia, Kellogg, Booth, Duke, Georgetown, Haas, Ross, NYU Preparing and more. Over the last three years, clients have been awarded more than 10.3 million dollars in scholarships, and more than 95% have gotten into one of their top choice schools.