MBA Heroes


DARDEN | Letter of recommendation


For most Full-Time MBA applicants with less than ten years of professional work experience, a one-page resume is sufficient. The applicant’s employment history should be summarized in this section, highlighting their leadership qualities and quantifiable accomplishments. Additionally, the applicant can use their resume to showcase their personality and interests, providing insights into their hobbies, favorite activities, recent books, podcasts, and travel experiences. These personal details can help the admissions committee gain a more comprehensive understanding of the applicant.


One recommendation is required as part of the application process. Applicants may submit a second recommendation if it provides new insights into their candidacy. However, the applicant should ensure that the additional recommender is offering unique perspectives.

Identifying Recommenders

Applicants are encouraged to choose recommenders who know them well and have supervised them in a professional setting, directly observing their work within the past few years. The recommender should be able to provide specific examples and anecdotes to demonstrate the applicant’s accomplishments and leadership potential. Academic recommendations are generally less valuable in the admissions committee’s evaluation.

Expectations for Recommenders

Applicants should inform their recommenders about the electronic recommendation process, which involves completing a ratings grid and short answer questions. The short answer questions ask the recommender to describe their interaction with the applicant, compare the applicant’s performance to others, and provide an example of constructive feedback they have given the applicant.

Timeliness of Recommendations

Since recommendations are often the slowest part of the application process, applicants should identify their recommenders well in advance of the application deadline. They should ensure that their recommenders understand their motivations for pursuing an MBA and their interest in the specific program. Sharing a copy of the applicant’s resume with the recommender can provide context for the applicant’s career trajectory. Applicants should also stay in touch with their recommenders to ensure they submit their recommendations on time.