Posts Tagged 'references'

Is one of your references MIA?

Is a missing reference the last piece of your application puzzle?

We have received a few inquiries from applicants who have submitted their applications and one or more of their listed references have not completed the online recommendation form.  We generally get a question like this:  “I listed a professor/former supervisor as a reference in my application and it appears his/her reference is the only one missing. I am unable to get in touch with him/her, as s/he no longer works at my company (or is at the university) and I am afraid s/he may have forgotten about my reference for my application. Can I select another person in his/her place in order to complete my application?”

You have two options.

Option 1 – replacing reference with an electronic reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an electronic reference, send an email to grad_app_help@fisher.osu.edu. Include your full name and email address – specifically, the name and email address you used when you submitted your application. Also include your applicant ID number if available. In your email, include the follwing information:

  • First Name of your recommender
  • Last Name of your recommender
  • Email address for your recommender
  • Relationship to your recommender (e.g. supervisor, professor, etc.)
  • Your recommender’s job title
  • Your recommender’s place of employment (e.g. company, university name, etc.)
  • The number of years and months your recommender has known you

Option 2 – replacing reference with a paper reference

If you wish to replace the missing reference with an paper reference, you do not need to change anything on your submitted application. Simply download and print the paper reference form, complete/sign/date page 1 of the form and provide both page 1 and 2 to your reference with a stamped, addressed envelope. (For the mailing address, it is critical you use the following address: PHD ADMISSIONS; 100 Gerlach Hall; 2108 Neil Ave; Columbus OH 43210-1144.)

If this situation applies to you, I hope this information helps! Let us know if you have any questions. We’re here to help!


Why wait? Applying before your references are ready *is* a good idea

Waiting may be exciting but waiting for your references before you apply isn't a good use of your time

We have received several inquiries during the past couple of weeks from soon-to-be applicants. They told us they’re waiting to submit their applications because they’re waiting for all of their references to be completed before they submit their applications.

Here’s some advice – don’t wait to submit your application. Once you’ve completed your application and you’ve uploaded your essay responses and your updated resume, the only thing left before you submit your application is to list your references in your application. After you do this, you are ready to submit. You do not gain any advantage on waiting for your references to submit their recommendations before you submit your application. Although the admission committee will not review your application before it is complete (including receipt of all required references and/or required test scores), you will help to speed up the processing of your application by submitting it as soon as you are able. If there are any materials submitted to us on your application after you submit your application (e.g. references, GRE or GMAT scores, etc.), we will match those materials to your already-submitted application. Your application will be processed more quickly this way than waiting for everything to be “done” before submitting your application.

Waiting may be “exciting” – but, truth be told, waiting to submit your application until everything else has been submitted isn’t a good idea!


Who should write your references?

Academic dress for Phd in Singapore with descr...
Image via Wikipedia

Do not confuse a strong letter of reference for a top-flight MBA program with a strong letter of reference for a top-ranked PhD program. Each program is very different from the other with different objectives in mind – in particular, what each type of program views as the “ideal” candidate is often very different from the other.

If you are applying to a top-tier PhD program in business (such as Fisher’s program), your references must be able to comment on your potential for being a scholar who can do independent research in that particular field of study. Most times, academic references carry more weight in the admissions process for PhD applicants. An exception can be made for non-academic references if those non-academic references can comment on the applicant’s potential for scholarly research. Key to remember is that each of your references must know you very well, well enough to know your strengths, weaknesses, etc., at such a level of detail that s/he can state unequivocally that you are well suited for PhD studies.

If you have any questions on the PhD application process, please let us know.


Here’s your checklist for applying

When you are preparing your application for any of the Fisher PhD programs, please refer to the checklist of required items. Remember that the admissions committee will only review complete applications.

Here are some additional tips:

GMAT/GRE

It is very OK for you to submit your application prior to taking the GMAT or GRE. (If you are applying to the accounting PhD program, you must submit official GMAT scores.) Just be sure you take the GMAT/GRE by December 15, 2010 to meet the PhD program application deadline.

Transcripts

We need two official transcripts from each and every university you have attended. Even if you just took a single class at a local community college, we will need two official transcripts from that community college. Be sure to send them to the correct address:

PhD ADMISSIONS
Fisher College of Business
100 Gerlach Hall
2108 Neil Ave
Columbus OH 43210-1144

Note: You are NOT required to submit transcripts for any grades you earned at Ohio State University.

TOEFL

I plan on writing another blog post on issues involving the TOEFL but if you are required to submit the TOEFL as part of a complete application, be sure you use the correct institution code for Ohio State University (1592) and that you allow PLENTY of time for the scores to get to us. The TOEFL is regularly the one item that seems to take forever to get to us – if you need to submit the TOEFL, it is your responsibility to ensure the test administrator (ETS) sends us your official TOEFL scores.

References

Your references can be sent to us electronically or via paper. (Additional instructions are in the application on the difference between the two formats.) Note that we will receive your references sooner if you choose electronic. Just be sure to give your recommenders plenty of time to write your references!

Essays

Give yourself enough time to write essays that really reflect you. Do not write generic, plain vanilla essays. Answer the questions that are posed to you in this application. Do not recycle essay responses you are using for any other applications.

We will be posting additional tips for each of the items referenced above throughout the next few months so keep an eye on this blog for updates.

If you have any questions, please let us know!