F2. How closely did you work with your recommenders on the content of the letter?

Most MBAs believe that you should not write your own letter of recommendation. Many believe that's it is really obvious to the admissions committee if you wrote it, and definitely hurts your application. A minority of MBAs believe it's fine to write it yourself.

The degree to which an MBA interacted with the recommender varied. Multiple strategies were employed, and often an MBA picked a strategy specific to each recommender. Some recommenders needed more hand-holding than others.

It's OK to write/edit the letter yourself

David Adams

Be prepared to write it yourself with very senior recommenders; not ideal

Karin Gregory

For most of them, I wrote a draft letter; whether they used it was up to them

Jay Palace

I think it's a great strategy to write a draft of the letter; help your recommender

Elizabeth Kearney

I worked with people who didn't know the MBA process; so I drafted versions, then had them edit

Sharon Liszanckie

I write recommendations for MBA candidates, and I work closely with them on the content

It's not OK to write/edit the letter yourself

David Sauvage

90% of letters are not written by the recommender; but it's very obvious to the admissions staff

Gaurav Bhattacharyya

Ethically and stylistically, don't write your own letter; wrote a personal statement

Wendy Lu

If you write your own letters of recommendation, people will be able to tell; admissions officers can smell it from a mile away

Seth Familian

Writing a recommendation for yourself is bullshit

Used a mixed strategy, depending on the recommender

Murali Krishnan

Depended on the person; some required more inputs

Jon Kornik

It varies by recommender; gave a list of the most important messages; brainstormed stories with one

Tom Rose

Work closely with those who haven't been through the MBA application process

Give recommenders a guide: achievements, essays, themes, resume

John Wilson

Gave recommenders a list of things they could highlight; a one page overview of my themes

Sheila Krishnan

Gave recommenders my resume, highlights about the school

Venkat Jonnala

Not that closely; gave them a list of messages I was trying to get across in my application

Mars Hanna

Offered "braggers" on the work I'd done, success stories

Give recommenders very little or no help

Mustally Hussain

I had about a 5% input into the letters

Roy Johanson

It was completely blind; didn't work with them at all

Give recommenders a gift as a thank you

Harpreet Marwaha

Gave them a packet of information; managed the process for them; gave them a gift