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London business school (LBS) letter of recommendation

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London Business School (LBS) Letter of Recommendation Questions 2023-24

You need to ask someone to act as your referee, this person could be either of the following:

your current employer (if you don’t want to ask your employer to be a referee, a colleague is acceptable) someone else who knows you well in a work context, for example a former employer or long-standing client.

After you input your referee’s details into the online application form we will send them an email with log-in details for our online reference system.

London Business School reserves the right to contact your referee for further information in connection with your application.

London business school (LBS) Letter of Recommendation Example – 1

1. How do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?

Jennifer (Name Changed) has been directly reporting to me since the last one year. I joined Loylty Rewardz as the MD & CEO in Dec’18. The existing head of data science department recommended her for his role as he was moving out. Two of our board of directors spoke highly of her convincing me that she can wield the responsibility well. I have seen her add significant value to the organization and shape her team, in terms of both people and vision, beautifully.

2. What would you say are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?

One of Jennifer (Name Changed)’s key strengths is that she is very solution driven and always gets answers on what needs to be done to solve the problem at-hand. I would quote one example to demonstrate her skills. Loylty Rewardz runs hundreds of targeted marketing campaigns for clients. Our campaign analysis process was not streamlined, with 45 day lag in receiving summarized analysis from the campaign deployment date. The analysis was also very generic and did not give deep insight into campaign performance for future planning. This was giving us competitive disadvantage.

Business requirement was to have comprehensive campaign analysis within 2 weeks of campaign deployment. This was raised during a few leadership meetings. Everyone, including head of marketing and technology were not able to arrive at a solution. There were many challenges in streamlining the process and enhancing campaign analyses because of the limitations in the loyalty platform design. This was actually the delivery responsibility of technology team.

In true collaborative spirit, Jennifer (Name Changed) took charge of the situation when problem was not getting resolved. She was very focused, identified gaps for resolution and created a solution plan. She took it upon herself to reverse-engineer the loyalty platform and identified the reasons for lag in data updation causing lag in campaign analysis delivery. She identified the need for a panel to facilitate campaign data capture in a streamlined manner as a prerequisite to make campaign analysis comprehensive. She guided her team members to create the panel.

Eventually, she enabled seamless delivery of comprehensive campaign analysis which was much appreciated by our clients. This resolved one of the most critical problems in our delivery and put Loylty Rewardz at competitive advantage in the market. Jennifer (Name Changed) also demonstrated excellent people skills in collaborating with the cross-functional leadership team and employees for solving this problem.

3. What would you say are the applicant’s key weaknesses or areas for improvement?

With her analytical and people skills, Jennifer (Name Changed) has been an exceptional performer and has become a part of senior leadership with rapid career progression at Loylty Rewardz. However, in a leadership role, it is important for her to be diplomatic in her communication so that she can be more persuasive.

When I joined, I noticed that Jennifer (Name Changed) has a tendency to be direct and brutally honest in her communication. In her passion to fix things, she was being very critical about the problems at-hand. I noticed this during several instances. This was not being taken well by her peers even though most of what she said made sense overall. She was perceived to be aggressive, which made it difficult to achieve consensus with the larger team.

In one of the cases, we were discussing our organization’s strategic roadmap for the next 3 years in a leadership meeting. We all had to agree upon the line items, their priorities and ownership so that detailed project plans can be formulated accordingly. Jennifer (Name Changed) was initially being very vocal about her misgivings regarding the priority and practicality of execution for many of the line items. While I could see that she was genuinely interested in getting things done, she was being received negatively by her peers because of her manner of communication.

During her appraisal discussion in Apr 2019, I advised her to be tactful, soften her manner of expression and smoothen out the creases when raising issues. She understood the feedback in the right spirit and I could see her consciously work on it during larger group meetings later on. She actively started collaborating more frequently with individual leadership team members, strengthened her bond with them, and turned around their perception of her significantly. This enabled her to be received in the right manner and gain consensus on important points for the organizational progress. I found proof of her improvement when the same sales head who was critical of her before had all good things to say about her after this change.

4. How do the applicant’s performance, potential and personal qualities compare to those of other individuals in similar roles?

Jennifer (Name Changed) is the youngest member in our organization’s leadership team, and her performance is definitely in the top quartile. Given the right coaching, she has the potential to land up in a key business driver role in a large organization.

One personal quality which makes her stand out is that she is very supportive of her team and does what it takes to help out team members. In the middle of this year, she had to raise a very sensitive matter with the management. Data science is a very dynamic domain in which identifying, hiring and retaining good candidates is difficult. Typically, candidates receive a good hike in their salary when they switch jobs. In one of our walk-in recruitment drives for data scientists, Jennifer (Name Changed) gathered that the candidate she selected for was of a similar potential and educational qualifications as one of her existing team members. But she had to hire this candidate at 40% higher pay than her team member, even though he was one year junior.

She sensed that her some of her current team members are unhappy with their pay and needed market correction without which there was a risk of severe attrition in the team. She brought up this sensitive subject with me and the head of HR indicating the need for proactive measures on our part to make the compensation fair. She particularly emphasized that it was an unfair and a negative recruitment strategy to let existing employees go due to pay issues and end up hiring similar candidates at a much higher pay-scale. On her suggestion, I tasked our HR head to find out market compensation for similar roles with similar qualifications. I asked Jennifer (Name Changed) to proactively identify candidates who were good performers and deserved market correction. With our consensus, we intimated specific employees that we would be making a pay correction for them soon, thereby retaining them successfully.

Overall, I believe Jennifer (Name Changed) is a very good manager with high empathy towards her team and does what it takes to help them. This makes her a valuable asset for any community in which she takes part. I strongly recommend her for the London Business School’s MBA program. Given the right coaching, she has the potential to land up in a key business driver role in a large organization.

5. What do you think this person might be doing in ten years’ time? Why?

Jennifer (Name Changed) has very good knowledge of data science as a domain. She also has a good understanding of digital platforms. She is very committed, focused and systematic in planning with a great ability to execute. She has the ability to see things holistically, and connect the big picture with the small picture, which makes her a good leader. In ten years, I see her to be doing her own business in data science space, or be a part of C-suite in a large business entity in this domain.

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London business school (LBS) Letter of Recommendation Example – 2

1. How do you know the applicant? How long have you known them for?

I was Drashati’s (Name Changed) direct manager for around five years at Loylty Rewardz. It was phenomenal to work with her and to see her grow from a manager to the head of data science department. When I was moving out of Loylty Rewardz, I recommended her in my place to head the department as I felt certain that she was perfect for the role due to her understanding of business, data science, management skills and the competence she has showcased in all her work.

2. What would you say are the applicant’s key strengths and talents?

Drashati (Name Changed) is very strong at problem-solving. She was a team lead in my department (analytics) when we were receiving a lot of ad-hoc data requests from stakeholders which required manual work for delivery and became time-consuming. This not only increased the delivery turnaround time, but was also susceptible to errors typical of a manual process. This often put undue pressure on my team for delivering critical requests.

I assigned Drashati (Name Changed) to create a sustainable solution for self-service Business Intelligence (B.I.) and reduce manual delivery of ad-hoc requests. It was a complex problem to solve for, because of lack of planning and variation in the data requested for.

She collaborated with the rest of my team leads to gather details of all data pulls delivered in the past. She categorized them based on typical common inputs needed. She created portals where stakeholders can raise a data request and self-enter relevant inputs, removing manual dependency on my team. She learnt ‘web2py’ for web development which was new to my team on her own. She created an automated back-end process for executing dynamic codes which connected to entered inputs and emailing results to the respective user who raised the request. She got the fundamentals of application design, like an intuitive UI, right despite working on application development for the first time.

80% of data requests were handled automatically through these modules, freeing up 30% of my department’s resource time. Through her exceptional problem-solving skills, Drashati (Name Changed) reduced request delivery lag from one week to one day.

Drashati (Name Changed) is also very strong at project management. In 2016, our organization wanted to expand business for marketing partnerships. Strategy was to launch a new mobile-based product to reach small Indian retailers, with functionality for allowing self-selection of target audience for SMS & Email marketing campaigns. This critical for future business strategy, with execution requiring impeccable planning and coordination between product, sales, technology and analytics.

Drashati (Name Changed) was tasked with leading development of analytical algorithms for the app. Due to lack of clarity and consensus on product requirements, the project was going haywire. We reached a stage development was lagging and execution team came under intense pressure from management due to the market situation.

Drashati (Name Changed) responded to the situation exceptionally well, discussed with the product head to push for closure on all gaps in requirements for analytics modules and attained overnight clarity to proceed with delivery. She requested me to allot additional resources for fast-tracking delivery. She motivated her team to push extra-hard by creating an immense sense of ownership, monitored progress and quality of every step to avoid repeat work and delivered all modules on time. She managed to deliver the modules within one-third of the time originally planned for. She demonstrated exemplary project management skills and in my view, delivered better than how anyone else in a similar role might have in such a demanding situation.

3. What would you say are the applicant’s key weaknesses or areas for improvement?

While Drashati (Name Changed) has demonstrated great team and stakeholder management skills in her projects, I noticed that she was getting cold feet when it came to attaining larger project outcomes through cross-functional collaboration. She was perfectly capable of managing her own team and collaborating within my department, but to move to the next level, effective cross-functional collaboration with people outside of department was necessary. Delivery excellence on assigned tasks would not suffice if larger project objectives for the organization are not met with.

The mobile-app development project mentioned in my previous comment involved resources from multiple functions, such as product, business, marketing and analytics. The project was going haywire due to gaps in clarity regarding detailed product definition and requirements. Even though Drashati (Name Changed) delivered exceptionally on the modules assigned to her, the overall product did not come together because of delivery issues from other functions. Even though she was not the senior most person working on the larger project, for her to be ready for a leadership role, it is important to keep track of larger end goals and be able to push for outcomes from everyone involved, even ones outside of one’s team.

I gave her this feedback before she went on maternity leave during appraisal discussion and advised her to move out of her ‘comfort zone’, so to speak. My exact words to her were: “One of the biggest challenges in a leadership role is to get work done from people who don’t report into you”.

After she joined back from maternity leave, she retained the advice given to her and her efforts to work on the feedback were quite visible to me. During a critical loyalty platform migration project handled by technology team, she took initiative and effectively collaborated with them to ensure all functionalities for data science delivery are in place and not getting lost in migration. I gladly recommended her for my role when I was moving out after seeing this improvement.

4. How do the applicant’s performance, potential and personal qualities compare to those of other individuals in similar roles?

Drashati (Name Changed) deeply cares about her work, her co-workers and talks candidly about the stuff that must be addressed to improve work environment for everyone. These are a few qualities which make her a great leader.

At Loylty Rewardz, employees from different colleges work together. The management had a positively biased perception of IIT graduates which was inadvertently becoming apparent to all employees in town-halls. Drashati (Name Changed) noticed how this was negatively affecting the good performers in her team most of whom were not from IIT and sensitized me regarding the issue. We took care from then-on to ensure such a bias is not expressed and worked towards sending a message of meritocracy in the team.

To quote another example, Loylty Rewardz did not previously have a formal avenue for 360 degree feedback. Loyalty platform management needs collaboration between multiple functions and there was constant conflict between business and delivery functions. When organizational milestones were not being accomplished, some functional heads at-times resorted to blame-game on each other or on their teams. Drashati (Name Changed) challenged the status quo and raised about the lack of top-down accountability between functional heads and team leads candidly with the CEO. Eventually, we set-up 360 degree feedback and skip-level meetings as formal avenues to enforce two-way accountability between mangers, peers and reportees.

On another occasion, Drashati (Name Changed) raised the need for employees to have a work from home allowance during maternity period. Loytly Rewardz previously did not allow employees to work from home. Drashati (Name Changed) came to know about a pregnant employee who had health issues and was not allowed to work from home by her functional head. She discussed with our CEO, who made a formal announcement in the town-hall that we will make exceptions to allow employees to work from home under special circumstances, such as maternity.

I believe that while Drashati (Name Changed)’s professional performance has been superlative, it is her high standards of work ethic and work culture that will potentially make her a great leader and take her to far-reaching heights in future.

5. What do you think this person might be doing in ten years’ time? Why?

Drashati (Name Changed) is passionate about whatever she is into and has always done more than what is expected of her. She has expertise in all aspects of data science, data engineering and data-driven product development. She is deeply interested in this field and I see her to be driving innovative products, platforms and solutions based on data science. I advised her to pursue MBA when she expressed an interest in doing her own start-up in future to me. I am sure that she would fulfil her career ambitions with enhanced leadership skills and networking benefits accumulated from a top quality MBA program.

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