Booth MBA Recommendation

I Letter of Recommendation
II Notable Recommendation Questions
III Assessment Grid

You can download a PDF of the exact form your recommender will see below.

Download Booth MBA Recommendation Questions 2016-17

This recommendation form is for the Chicago Booth MBA 2016-17 application season. Generally speaking, recommendation forms do not change from year to year so it’s a safe bet to assume that the same recommendation form will be used during the 2017-18 application season. When the 2017-18 application goes live (summer 2017) the download file and this page will be updated.

Chicago Booth requires that MBA applicants submit two recommendations.

Whomever you choose to write your recommendation, make sure he or she knows you well and can offer specific examples of your performance and contributions to the organization. Avoid choosing people simply based on their title or status. We are more concerned with content and substance rather than reputation.

The first letter of recommendation should come from a supervisor, although we understand that this may not always be possible. If you are unable to use your current supervisor, please explain the circumstances in the optional essay. Overall, we are seeking objectivity in the letter, and we want to hear from someone who can assess both your strengths and your weaknesses.

The second letter can be professional in nature or come from an individual who has worked with you in an organization, club, or on a volunteer project. These letters can give us a different perspective of your skill sets outside of your professional environment. There is no preference on who supplies your second letter of recommendation; our only guideline is that it should add new and valuable insight to your candidacy.
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Before you ask someone for a recommendation it’s best to understand what types of questions the school will put to them. Asking the CEO of your company for a recommendation may be tempting, but will he/she be able to convincingly convey your strengths and weaknesses to the Booth Admissions Committee? The best recommenders are those that have observed you interacting with others on a regular basis.

After you input your recommender’s name and email inside the Booth application, he/she will receive an email directing him/her to Booth’s online recommendation form.

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I Chicago Booth MBA Letter of Recommendation

Thank you for agreeing to write a recommendation for the applicant. We greatly appreciate the time and effort that you are taking to provide us with your honest assessment of the applicant’s abilities. Your recommendation will be used for the purpose of determining whether the candidate should be admitted and will have a significant impact on the applicant’s chances of admission to Chicago Booth. The most helpful recommendations provide detailed examples or anecdotes to support qualities described in the letter.

Recommendation letters generally vary in length, but most are 1-2 pages in length

Chicago Booth asks recommenders to either upload their recommendation to the online form or to copy and paste their letter in a text box at the end of the online form.

Please provide a written letter of recommendation in support of the applicant addressing the following questions:

  1. How do the applicant’s performance, potential, background, or personal qualities compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (no word limit)

  2. Please describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (no word limit)


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II Notable Chicago Booth MBA Recommendation Questions

Aside from the typical questions Booth asks recommenders (Name, Address, Phone etc.) here are some notable short answer questions you should be aware of.

  • For how long have you known the applicant?
  • Do you have an MBA degree?
  • Are you affiliated with Chicago Booth or the University of Chicago in any way?
  • Please indicate the reference group for this comparison. (no word limit)


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III Chicago Booth MBA Recommendation Assessment Grid

Please assess the candidate’s skills in the following areas. Your honest and candid assessment greatly helps the Admissions Committee in evaluating the candidate. Note: Most candidates will have a range of marks; it is extremely rare for a candidate to exceed expectations in all areas.

The Chicago Booth assessment grid includes a number of qualities. Recommenders are asked to rate the applicant using one of the following five responses:

  • Unable to Assess
  • Area of Concern
  • Opportunity for Development
  • Solid/Meets Expectations
  • Strength/Exceeds Expectations

The Qualities in the assessment grid are as follows:

  • Ability to adapt to change
  • Awareness of self and others
  • Maturity
  • Openness to feedback and constructive criticism
  • Interpersonal skills (with colleagues/subordinates)
  • Interpersonal skills (with superiors/executives)
  • Confidence
  • Initiative/Self-motivation
  • Collaboration/Teamwork
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Intellectual Curiosity
  • Problem Solving Skills

Based on your professional experience, how does the candidate rate within his/her peer group?

  • Unable to Assess
  • Below Average
  • Average (top 50%)
  • Very Good (top 25%)
  • Outstanding (top 10%)
  • The best I’ve ever encountered in my career

 Overall I,

  • Do not recommend this candidate to Chicago Booth
  • Recommend with reservations this candidate to Chicago Booth
  • Recommend this candidate to Chicago Booth
  • Recommend enthusiastically this candidate to Chicago Booth
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