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Recommendations & Essays

boston college career center


Almost every business school requires at least two recommendations. Generally, they’re looking for letters from people who can describe your abilities in a job situation, and can support their comments with specific examples (e.g. supervisors or close colleagues).

Give your recommenders several weeks to write your recommendations, and discuss your application deadlines to be sure your admission packet is completed on a timely basis. Be sure to waive your right to see the recommendations; business schools prefer to see “blind” recommendations because they allow the recommender to be more honest.

Provide the recommendation writers with some background materials, such as a resume and application essays, to help them focus on your specific strengths, accomplishments, and interests. Managers are pressed for time to complete recommendations along with their regular workload, and would welcome your help.



Most business school applications include three required essay questions, but some have as many as eight.

Write from personal experience, and write honestly. The most compelling essays have a ring of authenticity to them, whether they are serious, funny, sad, or some combination of the three. Write carefully and proofread for proper syntax, grammar, and spelling.

For more information, see The MBA Essay or Accepted.