No, I don’t mean marriage. Earlier this week I secured my last recommendation writer, and it comes from someone who I highly respect within my organization.
I already have a commitment from my supervisor from a while back, and have been dragging my feet in asking for another recommendation from someone within my organization. The supervisor is a no-brainer for most MBA applicants, as they’re the person that tends to know the most about your work efforts and what you’ve been able to accomplish for the organization. I wanted my second reccommendation to come from someone who can speak to how my work has impacted decision making way up the food chain.
This is not to say that I am pandering for reccomender that wields a big title. I have friends who have gone that route and came back with dull, uninspiring letters that didn’t really speak past generalities and dramatic overtures of how great they are. So it’s a delicate game: looking for someone high enough that they can demonstrate how your work has an impact, but also someone that you deal with enough to where they can speak about you in detail.
In my particular situation, I changed many job functions recently with a sizeable promotion which landed me in a different office (with a different organizational structure above me). Knowing that this MBA application trek was fast upcoming, I began networking like crazy trying to get to know people. For those of you that don’t know, this can be an AGONIZING process in the engineering world.
Luckily enough for me, my work did the work for me. After driving alot of our Big Data initiatives here, I’ve gotten alot of face time with executive leadership. Side note, Big Data is the current buzzword on the lips of management across the country. My new division head is a regular at these meetings, and we got to know each other pretty well from a working perspective.
So I settled on asking my division head, who leads my division statewide and sometimes operates as the third in command of the entire organization. We share many things in common, and through some casual conversations I found out that she was an MBA herself, and is very big into the “spread your wings” methodology of career-making. It was perfect.
She’s very enthusiastic about my MBA process, and has already offered me some incredible advice having gone through it herself. It feels good to have a great recommender on my side, as well as someone who is rooting for my success in general. I’m now crafting a very thorough document for my recommenders on what each school is looking for and how they can help me the most, as well as all the information that they will need on me. I also am looking to have more casual sit downs with them so that they can get to know me even better, which hopefully will reflect in the essays.