UT Austin McCombs Recommendation

I Letter of Recommendation
II Notbale Recommendation Questions
III Assessment Grid

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

Download UT Austin McCombs Recommendation Questions 2016-17

This recommendation form is for the UT Auston McCombs 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.

One notable difference about UT Austin McCombs compared to most other MBA programs is that it allows MBA applicants submit one OR two recommendations – one recommendation is obligatory, the second is optional.

We require one professional letter of recommendation from a person who has supervised your work and/or has assessed your performance during your career. Professional recommendations are strongly recommended (i.e. direct supervisor, indirect supervisor, or a client). If you are unable to request a letter of recommendation from your direct supervisor or feel that another recommender would be more appropriate, please explain why in your optional statement
– UT Austin McCombs Adcom 


Back to top: Outline

I UT Austin McCombs MBA Letter of Recommendation

Recommenders are asked to copy and paste answers to the recommendation questions in the online form. Word limits need to be followed because the online form will truncate answers that surpass a question’s word limit.

  1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (Recommended word count: 50 words)
  2. How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Recommended word count: 250 words)
  3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Recommended word count: 250 words)
  4. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know? (no word limit)


Back to top: Outline

II Notable UT Austin McCombs MBA Recommendation Questions

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

  • Context of Relationship (dropdown)
  • Nature of Relationship (dropdown)
  • How long have you known the applicant? From Month/Year to Month/Year
  • If you are affiliated with McCombs School of Business or the University of Texas at Austin, please select the option that most closely matches. (dropdown)
  • May we contact you regarding this applicant? (Yes/No)
  • Did you use a translator? (Yes/No)
  • (Optional) Is there anything about your competency rating on which you’d like to comment? (text box strict 250 word limit) This appears at the end of the assessment grid
  • Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this applicant compared to his/her peer group?
    • Unable to assess
    • Below average
    • Average
    • Very good (well above average)
    • Excellent (top 10%)
    • Outstanding (top 5%)
    • The best encountered in my career
  • Overall I…
    • Do not recommend thisapplicant
    • Recommend this applicant with reservations
    • Recommend this applicant
    • Enthusiastically recommend this applicant


Back to top: Outline

III UT Austin McCombs MBA Recommendation Assessment Grid

McCombs asks recommenders to assess candidates on a number of competency areas. (Optional) Recommenders can provide any comments related to the assessment grid in an text box at the end.

Initiative: Acts ahead of need/anticipates problems

  • No basis for judgement
  • Willing to step in and take action when required to do so
  • Takes charge spontaneously when problem needs attention and no one steps forward
  • Seeks out new work challenges; tackles problems head-on and works to resolve them without delay
  • Proactively puts in extra effort to accomplish critical or difficult tasks, and persists in the face of obstacles
  • Actively seeks high impact and high visibility projects and steps up to challenge even when things are not going well; frequently takes actions that grow the team or organization

Results Orientation: Focuses on and drives toward delivering on goals, objectives, and performance improvement

  • No basis for judgement
  • Fulfills assigned tasks
  • Takes specific, tailored actions to overcome obstacles to achieve goals; plans for contingencies
  • Acts to exceed goals and raise effectiveness of organization
  • Introduces incremental improvements to enhance business performance using robust analysis; sets continually higher goals for self and team
  • Invents new approaches and works to meet or exceed best-in-class standards and levels of performance

Communicating: Delivers messages and ideas in a way that they can be easily heard and accepted and can engage an audience; uses listening and other attending behaviors to create a shared understanding of topic

  • No basis for judgement
  • Gets point across; responds to explicit concerns when asked
  • Stays on topic; reframes statements when necessary to make clearer; organizes content so that it is easily understood; takes time to listen
  • Present views clearly and structures content to present views in a way that is logical and easily followed by a broad audience; acknowledges audience feedback
  • Explicitly structures content to engage specific audience segments; uses tailored language and examples that appeal to specific groups; asks pertinent questions; restates or paraphrases what others have said to check for understanding
  • Structures content for senior-level meetings and presentations and maintains composure when challenged; solicits opinions and concerns and incorporates them “in the moment” discusses them openly and adjusts communication

Influence and Collaboration: Engages and works with people over whom one has no direct control

Professional Impression, Poise and Presence: Maintains self-control and positive external response even in time of crisis or conflict; manages impression made on others

Respect for Others: Acknowledges the value of others’ views and actions

Team Leadership: Manages and empowers a team of formal or informal direct reports, including virtual teams

Developing Others: Helps people develop their performance and ability over time

Change Leadership: Energies and aligns groups of people to participate in organizational change

Trustworthiness/Integrity: Acts consistently in line with or follows explicit values, beliefs or intentions

Adaptability/Resilience: Adapts to changing demands and circumstances without difficulty. Maintains calm optimism in the face of challenge, problems, or apparent failure

Self Awareness: Aware of and seeks out additional input on own strengths and weaknesses

Information Seeking: Probes deeply into issues and seeks out facts and evidence needed to inform decisions

Analytical Thinking: Reasons from causes to effects, through multiple steps as needed

Problem Solving: Frames problems, analyzes situations, identifies key issues, conducts analysis on the issues and produces acceptable solution

Strategic Orientation: Thinks beyond one’s span of control and into the future to reshape the approach or scope of work

Back to top