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Monday, June 14, 2004

I guess that was the weekend then 

We had an all day work event on Saturday. This involved eight hours or running around after various people and trying to co-ordinate everyone and everything. Being on my feet and 'on' for that length of time is pretty tiring, and then there were problems with the trains on the way back. Finally got home at 11.20pm, fourteen hours after I'd left. I could really have done with a nice lazy day on Sunday, but other commitments meant that wasn't to be. Still, it's now only four days until the weekend, and this time I should be able to catch up with chores / do some b-school stuff / relax a bit.

I've e-mailed my boss in my previous job to ask her if she'll do me recommendations. It's two and a half years since I've worked for her, but I think she'll be able to give a meaningful perspective, especially because of the differences between that organisation and the one I work for now. There we were a staff of 300+ and I was part of a team of 14. Here, the staff number 24 and I'm in a functional team that varies between 1 and 2, and part of a management team of 6.

Kellogg only needs one recommender, Wharton two (I think), and Stanford three. I'm going to ask my ex-boss to do one for Kellogg as well as my current boss. The admissions officer I saw when I visited said that this was OK as long as it added value to the application, which it will. My old organisation was much more team based than my current one, and given the importance of teamwork at Kellogg I really want to make sure that my strengths in that area come across.

I've found it interesting to look at the questions the three schools ask on the recommendation forms. Stanford asks recommenders to rate candidates on a scale from 1 to 5 on a variety of areas, with examples of the behaviours exhibited for each level. They also state that it should be extremely rare for a candidate to score 5 in all areas, and unusual for a candidate to receive all 4's or 5's. I can really see the value in this for trying to ensure that all recommenders rate candidates on the same basis, but the criteria used could favour people in some types of organisations over others. For example, having an impact on the whole organisation is rated more highly than having an impact on your direct area, but it's much easier to impact the whole organisation if you're in a small outfit (like mine) than in a much larger one. But then I guess no system's perfect.

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