Concordia MBA Letter of Recommendation Questions: 2023-2024
- How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity?
- If this is a work-related reference, in what position is/was the candidate employed and for how long?
- What do you consider to be the candidate’s principal strengths/talents?
- What would you consider the applicant’s primary area for improvement or growth?
- What do you consider to be the candidate’s weaknesses or areas that need improvement?
Concordia MBA Letter of Recommendation Example – 1
1)What do you consider to be the applicant’s strengths, outstanding talents or characteristics?
When Ashish joined the business under his father’s tutelage, Ashish was very enthusiastic and started a new trend in his company of proactively going out to customers.
People in our line of work don’t go door to door. After Covid the general wholesale jeans market was slow, there were fewer customers in markets. Going through these tough times, Ashish’s proactiveness to go out and seek business made him stand out from the competition and helped him secure business even in tough times.
2)What, as far as you know and in your opinion, is the applicant’s most significant achievement?
I have seen Ashish take on the responsibility of managing her family business during the time of a medical emergency in a very short amount of time. He has great enthusiasm towards adding new designs in jeans, talking to customers, increasing promotion and branding of the company. I believe, managing to take control of the business and help it improve the business day by day while staying true to the culture and values of the business is his most significant achievement.
3)What are the areas in which the applicant could further develop?
Due to his honesty and willingness to do business on word of mouth contracts, I have seen Ashish being taken advantage of a few times.
In 2018, there was a huge order of jeans which we were working together to complete for Ashish’s customer. However, Ashish’s customer cancelled their order and requested a new design. I had to ask him to have the tough negotiation and secure extra funding.
I think Ashish is still young and learning and has been taken advantage off, but over time he will learn.
4)How does the applicant interact with others in a team setting?
Since Ashish took responsibility for the business at a very young age, his employees are mostly older than him.
Ashish listens to his team members with an open mind and is eager to learn new things from his employees. He likes to learn about all of his team members. Although most of his employees are older than him, he takes the time to learn new methods from his employees. He does not hesitate to ask questions, and makes the effort to share with the rest of the team.
5)How will a graduate business education help the applicant further his or her career?
I have had various conversations with Ashish where he expressed new ideas and plans about expanding his family business, which involves expanding overseas, partnering with other businesses, exploring more products etc.
However, I think he needs the knowledge and methodologies of entrepreneurship to succeed in his own ventures. I believe a Concordia MBA with courses in Entrepreneurship will give him the knowledge and exposure to add value and expand his family business.
Concordia MBA Letter of Recommendation Example – 2
1)How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity?
I am the owner and founder of NYC enterprises. We import and manufacture zippers for jeans and jackets. I have been working with Aman Apparels since 2008 and met Ashish for the first time in late 2017. Before Ashish, we used to deal directly with Ashish’s father, and now for the last 5 years, we have been working with Ashish as the main point of contact.
Aman Apparels is one of our customers and they usually procure zippers for the jeans and other apparel they manufacture for their clients.
2)List 3-5 attributes or characteristics that best describe the candidate
Bold Decision Maker
3)Of the qualities listed above, in which areas has the applicant distinguished himself/herself most?
One of the most impressive qualities I have noticed while working with Ashish over the last few years is his capability to take bold decisions and be persistent in his efforts.
During 2019 when covid stuck most of our businesses came to stand still. Factories were closed shut and all incoming orders vanished overnight. Without any working factories or business coming in it is really difficult to pay wages to our blue collared staff and day labourers. When business is shut then salaries are the biggest cash outflow from the business.
In 2019, Ashish made a bold decision and led a staff change program to reduce salaries while retaining critical work forces. In our area of business labour unions are very strong and salary cuts or letting go of employees are not easily acceptable. It required a lot of persistent effort and negotiations by Ashish for his work force to accept the salary cuts. It was especially difficult because some of the workers were working under his family for a long time even before Ashish started working there.
But due to COVID Restrictions, Ashish was able to convince most of the staff to accept lower salaries for the time being and those who didn’t agree were asked to leave. To me this showed that Ashish at his young age of 29, is capable of having difficult conversations and taking bold decisions for the long term survivability of his family business. I have seen a lot of young founders take these difficult decisions and fail in their venture but I was thoroughly impressed with how Ashish dealt with this difficult time in his business.
Another thing that I like about working with Ashish is his curiosity and innate desire to acquire knowledge which can help him grow the business. He always tries to gain more knowledge on the new fashions trends in the jeans industry. For example, in 2019 Ashish brought me a pair of diesel jeans which had a laser washing pattern with a unique zipper design which even I had not seen in my many years of experience.
He went out of his way to learn why that particular design was incorporated and in turn helped me brush up my knowledge and improve my business as well. We both then worked together to secure that zipper design and I was able to promote this new design further to a few more of my clients. This way Ashish’s knowledge helped me grow my business as well. That is why I like how he pursues all business opportunities and always focuses on acquiring knowledge about all the aspects of what he is working on.
Overall I believe these 2 qualities have distinguished Ashish as a business owner from all other young business owners i work with.
4)What would you consider the applicant’s primary area for improvement or growth?
One thing that I have advised Ashish to improve upon time and again over the last few years is his patience and ability to remain calm when things don’t go as planned.
For instance, in 2018, Ashish was waiting for me to deliver an order for zippers so that he can complete his jeans manufacturing and deliver to his clients. But due to the Chinese New Year holiday, one of my shipments got delayed and another one was stuck in customs offices.
Due to the delay in shipment from China, Ashish had to delay his delivery and his client was not happy about it. The client threatened to cancel the order and Ashish panicked very quickly. Instead of patiently explaining it to the client and working towards a solution he lost control of the situation and started taking decisions in panic. This is when I stepped into the conversation. Calmed his client down and worked with Ashish to figure out a solution. We figured out a way to get my shipment unlocked from the customs office.
Next day we went over to customs and paid an extra duty to get the product clearance early as it was urgent. This half of the zipper shipment helped Ashish deliver half of the jeans order to his client and then in a few weeks he was able to deliver the other half.
As a business owner, Ashish needs to learn how to remain calm while working towards a solution. Calmness in these situations can sometimes be very valuable because even as a business owner, some situations cannot be controlled by us even if we try to. Good business owners work with their clients with patience which helps build long term relationships. I have been mentoring ashish on thsi quality and he has come a long way in last few years.
5)How would you rate the applicant’s potential for becoming a successful business leader?
After the untimely demise of his father Ashish took the reins of the company Aman Apparels and guided the company through the difficult COVID -19 Pandemic times. He brought new ways for his company to survive certain recessions in the pandemic and brought in orders even for us in these times.
Grit and capability to fight and survive another day, is what it takes to survive difficult times in business and I have seen Ashish surviving through the entire last year. That is why I believe he can be a great business leader in the future and not only survive but also grow his business.
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