Planning to apply to business school? In addition to taking the GMAT and preparing essays and other required application materials, you should be ready to submit recommendation letters—typically, at least two.
Business School Recommendation Letters
These letters show the admissions staff that you have the skills, experience, and qualifications it takes to be a success, both during and after the program.
For example, in order to get into Stanford Business School (one of the most prestigious business schools in the country), you'll need two letters of reference. The school says that stories about a student’s behavior, impact, and personal qualities (as told by others) play an essential role in the evaluation of each application. Stanford also advises those writing letters of reference to provide specific examples and anecdotes that illustrate a student’s ability and desire to make a difference in the world.
Writing a Recommendation for a Student
Someone's future is in your hands, and it's not enough to simply express your admiration for the student. Think carefully before you say yes.
If you don’t know the person that well, or have qualms about their work, you should gracefully decline the invitation to write a letter.
Ask the student for the school’s deadlines and recommendations before you begin, and ask if there are any specific qualities you should emphasize in your letter.
How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter for Business School
If you’re the candidate, and you’re asking references to write you a recommendation, your role is to communicate clearly what you’re hoping to convey during the application process.
For example, The Princeton Review suggests that you write a statement of purpose prior to asking for recommendations: “Your recommenders need to know how you are presenting yourself in your application. If you haven't written a statement of purpose yet, provide them with a rough outline of what you plan to say.”
You should provide your references with a copy of your resume and instructions on how to submit their letter.
The school may require them to use an online system to email their letters directly. Make sure that your references know the deadlines and requirements.
Recommendation Letter Sample for Business School
This is an example of a reference letter to get into business school. Download the reference letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or see below for more examples.
Recommendation Letter Sample for Business School (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 21, 2020
Sterling Business School, Sterling College
7 Sterling Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Ms. Cohen,
I have worked closely with Julie Johnson for the past two years, during which time she served as a peer advisor in the Career Services Office at Concord College. I found Ms. Johnson to be an exceptionally motivated and talented young woman who comported herself well in all the endeavors she undertook. I firmly believe that she will be successful in whatever she pursues.
Ms. Johnson has a very sharp and inquisitive mind. She is also very perceptive and able to read people and situations with a great deal of accuracy. Julie is strongly committed to the organizations for which she works, and I am confident that as she continues to mature she will be an asset to society. She assertively addresses problems and exhibits a maturity beyond her years in her approach to situations.
Julie has digested large volumes of information in her role as Career Peer Advisor. She has shown the ability to clearly explain complex concepts to our clientele and has developed very strong relationships with her peers and our professional staff.
I am very comfortable with allowing Julie to represent the office to external constituents. This confidence was evidenced by my recent decision to have Julie accompany a group of seniors to a recruiting conference. She effectively interfaced with corporate representatives and gathered a great number of employment leads for students back on campus.
In conclusion, I am certain that Julie will shine as a graduate student and go on to become a very accomplished business person. She possesses the right combination of drive, intelligence, and interpersonal skills required to excel in school, and in life. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this extraordinary young woman.
John Smith (signature hard copy letter)