Have you considered yet exactly who you will ask to write recommendations for you?
Your choice reflects on you in three ways. Selecting the “right” recommenders reflects on your professional judgment. Who the recommenders are speaks to your relationships within your own organization and others. Finally, what your recommenders say about you reflects on your professional potential.
Here’s what you should be doing now:
Create a “short list” of recommenders you can turn to for your MBA applications, and other recommendation needs you may have in the admissions process (scholarship applications, perhaps?). Identify 5-7 individuals who can play this role.
When is the last time you reconnected with the people on your list? You may see some of them every day. Others, though, you may not have seen for some time.
For those you don’t see routinely, now is the time to call them up and schedule a lunch, or, at minimum, to reconnect with them by phone (no, not by email).
Is this when you should ask for the MBA recommendation? No. Remember, you are reconnecting – reestablishing the connection. Follow up your conversation with a note or share an article of interest with your “short-lister.”
Later, when it is time to ask for the recommendation, you’ll be more likely to receive a positive response because you’ve recently reconnected. Furthermore, the recommendation they write will be more informed and of a better quality than if you asked out of the blue.