Who’s this nerd? This is, the founder of Career Protocol. It’s MBA Monday, and today I’m talking about tricky recommender situations. We talk a lot about recommendations on MBA Monday because they’re an incredibly important part of your application, but they’re also the part that’s hardest to manage and control because your destiny is in the hands of other people. So if you haven’t already watched last season’s videos, I recommend you go back and watch “How to Choose the Best Recommenders”, “How Your Recommenders Can Address the Strengths Question”, and “How Recommenders Can Address the Question About Feedback”.
Like I said, we talk a lot about this subject, so there’s a lot of great content on MBA Monday about recommenders. But today I’m going to talk about those marginal, strange situations where you don’t have great options to recommend you because of the setup of your career. So, the most common situations I see with my clients are if you work in a family business, it’s a little bit hard to find recommenders because most of the people who would recommend you, typically you’re related to and there’s a clear conflict of interest there. Another situation in which it’s hard to find great recommenders is when you work in a company where it’s not really safe to disclose your MBA applications because either they’ll fire you on the spot – that’s really, really rare, but it has happened in the past -, or they will compromise your career trajectory if you stay at the firm, if they know that you’re planning to apply to business school. And the third situation in which you might have difficulty finding great recommenders is if you’re still very early in your career, or you spent a lot of extra time in academia, so the people who know you as a professional best are not professionals, they’re academics. So here’s some strategies.