Letters of recommendation are the one key part of the MBA application process that most applicants have little to no control over. In fact, asking managers to fill out multiple recommendations is a pain point, not just for the managers, but for the applicants themselves.

With each business school asking for at least two letters of recommendation, ensuring that these letters are submitted by the application deadline is anxiety inducing for many applicants. To simplify the recommendation process, GMAC has recently introduced a Common Letter of Recommendation. The goal is to make life easier for MBA applicants and recommenders, as well as provide better insights for schools.

What is the Common Letter of Recommendation

The common letter of recommendation has three sections:

  • Section 1: Personal Information about the candidate
  • Section 2: The recommender is asked to evaluate the candidate on  16 leadership competencies which are grouped in five categories: Achievement, Influence, People, Personal Qualities, and Cognitive Abilities.
  • Section 3:  The form also includes three more qualitative and open-ended recommendation questions that are very similar to other independent LOR questions asked by MBA programs in the past. These questions are based on the applicant’s overall performance, comparative performance, and required development in an organization. These questions include:
  • Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)
  • How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (500 words)
  • Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)
  • Is there anything else we should know? (Optional)

Schools using the Common Letter of Recommendation

Schools using the common letter of recommendation include:

  • The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor: Ross
  • The University of Texas at Austin: McCombs
  • Columbia Business School
  • Carnegie Mellon University: Tepper
  • Pennsylvania State University: Smeal
  • Emory University: Goizueta
  • The University of Kansas
  • The University of Washington: Foster MBA
  • Brandeis International Business School
  • Georgetown University
  • Stanford University
  • New York University
  • University of Virginia
  • University of California at Berkeley

How to submit the Common Letter of Recommendation

The common Letter of Recommendation can be submitted both online and offline. Online submissions are via the partner school sites.

To help your recommenders craft a fantastic Letter of Recommendation connect with us on !




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