MBA Recommendations for Stanford GSB & Harvard Business School: Strategy & Tips

October 10, 2018 | by Fortuna

If you’ve set your sights on both Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB, you’re not the first.

They are indisputably the two most exclusive b-schools in the world. Since your letters of recommendation are the only part of your MBA application not written by you, they can tip the balance in your candidacy. That’s why a key element of your strategic positioning must be recommenders.

In a feature for Poets&Quants, Fortuna’s Karla Cohen (former HBS Associate Director) shares specifics about each program’s expectations regarding recommenders, and offers strategic insights on how to deploy a stellar recommender strategy for GSB or HBS.

“Admissions committees are looking for a recommender’s honest reflection backed up by objective, concrete insights about your development and potential,” writes Karla. “HBS, for example, strongly prefers direct supervisors. The ideal scenario is whoever is closest to you, but they should be senior to you, and preferably your direct supervisor or your boss’s boss. This isn’t always realistic, but it’s nonetheless ideal.”


For a deeper dive into cultivating recommender relationships and setting your recommenders up for success, check out this related article by Fortuna’s Jessica Chung (former UCLA Anderson Associate Director of Admissions), “How to Secure the Best Letters of Recommendation.”

For more advice on a recommender strategy for HBS, view Karla’s 10-minutes video session, or check out her latest article, What Harvard Business School Really Wants.

Fortuna Admissions is composed of former admissions directors and business school insiders from 13 of the top 15 business schools., Fortuna Admissions, Best Letter of Recommendation

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