We ask for 3 letters of recommendation. We require that one of these letters is from your direct supervisor.
Once you identify your recommenders in our application system they receive an email with a link. This link sends them to a page where we ask them to rank you on a scale of 1-10 on an number of different criteria. We then ask them a handful of very specific questions. This is all done for two reasons. Reason 1 - ensure we get exactly what we are looking for to help in an admission decision. Reason 2 - make it as easy as possible for your recommender so they don’t have to guess what we want to know and come up with a letter from scratch.
Let me try to answer a few common questions regarding rec letters.
1. What matters more - the person writing the letter or the content?
1. The content. If you have the CEO of your company submit the letter that’s great - unless the CEO of your company has no idea who you are and can’t add any valuable information to your application. We want to hear from people who know you.
2. I work for myself so I don’t have a “direct supervisor”.
1. This is a common one. Use a partner or client - someone who can speak intelligently about your current work.
3. Can I submit more than 3 letters of recommendation?
1. Yes but do you really need to? Adding more rec letters can be perceived as a sort of sign of desperation. If you need more than 3 people to explain to us why you would be a fit for our program that’s fine but please be sure they each have something unique to add.
My last piece of advice regarding rec letters is this. Spend some time with your recommenders when you ask them to write for you. Explain to them why you are pursuing and MBA, why Chicago Booth and what skills you are planning to leverage in your application. They may have some advice for you, they may be able to point out some skills you haven’t thought of. They will also be able to compliment your story.
I hope this helps!