ForumWatch: Ethics and Recommendation Letters

Posted by: Louis Lavelle on September 16, 2011

The business school application is top of mind with participants on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forums. And one of the subjects they often discuss is the recommendation letter.

Admissions committees see recommendation letters as a kind of fact checking. When analyzing recommendation letters, members of admissions committees are looking to see if colleagues or supervisors have the same perception of a candidate’s work and character as he or she portrayed them in the rest of the application. While it’s common practice for applicants to give a little guidance to the letter writers about what to write, admissions committees want the recommenders to offer their own opinions free of bias or help. The idea is to get an honest and genuine look at a candidate from a variety of sources.

Still, at least one forum member recently asked about the possibility of applicants flat out writing the recommendation letters themselves. Do you think that happens? How often? What should the consequences be? To share your opinions and thoughts about ethics and recommendation letters, you can visit the “Recommendation: write yourself?” discussion thread.

-Francesca Di Meglio

Editor’s Note: This blog post is part of a series about discussions taking place on the Bloomberg Businessweek Business School Forums, where prospective MBA program applicants, current students, and recent alumni trade admissions tips, job-hunting advice, and the occasional barbed comment. We invite you to join these discussions or start one of your own.

 

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Read daily reports from BusinessWeek editors and reporters Louis Lavelle, Geoff Gloeckler, Alison Damast and Francesca Di Meglio and boost your chances of getting into your best-fit B-school.

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