UCLA Sample Essays and Recommendation Letters

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UCLA Application Essays and Questions 2023-24-

Applicants are required to submit three essays as part of the online application to the MSBA program. These application essays help the Admissions Committee become acquainted with applicants as individuals, and they demonstrate an applicant’s ability to write concisely and economically.


Essay 1:

Business analytics requires a combination of mathematical/quantitative abilities and creative thinking. Describe a project you worked on, either as a student or professional, that demonstrates your analytical and creative problem-solving skills. Tell us why this project was interesting to you. (Maximum 750 words)

Essay 2:

Statement of purpose: Share academic and professional background, skills, accomplishments; research interests; academic/career goals. Describe why this graduate program is a good fit for you.

Essay 3:

Personal Statement: Personal motivation for applying to UCLA Anderson. Please share any relevant experiences, challenges, or accomplishments.

UCLA Winning Sample Essays-1

  1. Business analytics requires a combination of mathematical/quantitative abilities and creative thinking. Describe a project you worked on, either as a student or professional, that demonstrates your analytical and creative problem-solving skills. Tell us why this project was interesting to you. (Maximum 750 words)

During my tenure as a Senior Software Engineer at GeekyAnts, I spearheaded a project that exemplifies my analytical and creative problem-solving skills: developing a white-label cloud platform for B2B customers. This project challenged my technical and analytical abilities and demanded innovative thinking and strategic planning, making it one of the most enriching experiences in my professional career.

The project was initiated in response to a client’s need for a scalable, flexible cloud solution that could integrate with various e-commerce functionalities, including a sophisticated print-on-demand feature. The client, a prominent player in the digital marketplace, required a platform to seamlessly manage high volumes of transactions and data without compromising user experience. The challenge was to build a robust system that could handle complex workflows and data processes while being intuitive enough for non-technical users to operate effectively.

I led a team of 15 engineers and oversaw the project’s entire lifecycle—from ideation and system architecture design to implementation and testing. My approach combined rigorous data analysis with creative system design. We began by conducting a detailed requirement analysis, using quantitative methods to understand user behavior patterns and product usage statistics from the client’s existing systems. This data was crucial in designing a cloud platform that was efficient, scalable, and user-friendly.

I employed a modular architecture to tackle the complexity of integrating various e-commerce functionalities into a single platform. This approach allowed us to build independent modules for different functionalities, such as inventory management, payment processing, and order tracking, which could be developed in parallel and integrated seamlessly. This expedited the development process and enhanced the system’s maintainability and scalability.

Creativity was vital in solving several user experience challenges. For example, the print-on-demand feature required a dynamic interface that could visually represent customization options to users in real-time. I conceptualized a solution that used advanced JavaScript and HTML5 to create a responsive, interactive product customization tool. This tool enabled users to visualize their customizations directly on the product image, enhancing the user experience and reducing errors in order processing.

The analytical aspects of the project involved developing a sophisticated back-end algorithm for inventory management and pricing. I designed an algorithm that dynamically adjusted prices based on real-time inventory levels and historical sales data, optimizing stock levels and pricing for maximum profitability. This algorithm employed machine learning techniques to predict future demand trends, allowing our clients to make informed purchasing and marketing decisions.

This project was exciting because it allowed me to delve deep into the technical and business aspects of software development. It challenged me to apply my quantitative skills in real-world scenarios, pushing the boundaries of what I could achieve with data analytics and system design. Additionally, the project significantly impacted the client’s business, leading to a 20% increase in order fulfillment efficiency and a 15% reduction in operational costs, which underscored the tangible benefits of combining analytical rigor with creative solutions.

Overall, developing the white-label cloud platform was a pivotal project in my career. It showcased my ability to lead a complex, high-stakes project and highlighted my capacity to innovate and think strategically. It reinforced my belief in the power of data analytics to transform business practices. It fueled my desire to pursue further education in business analytics to continue making impactful contributions to the technology industry.

2. Statement of purpose: Share academic and professional background, skills, accomplishments; research interests; and academic/career goals. Describe why this graduate program is a good fit for you.

My academic and professional journey has been guided by a continuous desire to integrate technology with business strategies to solve complex problems and drive innovation. As a Senior Software Engineer with an extensive web and mobile development background, I have led diverse teams and projects that have significantly impacted business operations and client satisfaction. With a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication, my foundational skills were forged in a rigorous academic environment that prized problem-solving and innovative thinking.

Over the past four years, I have developed and managed projects beyond coding to encompass strategic business solutions, particularly in creating scalable web and mobile applications for global clients. My role required a deep understanding of technical requirements and an ability to translate these into actionable and strategic business outputs. One of my notable accomplishments was developing a cloud-based platform that revolutionized our clients’ e-commerce operations, significantly enhancing their operational efficiency and reducing costs.

My research interests include machine learning and data analytics in optimizing business processes and decision-making. The ability to derive actionable insights from vast amounts of data fascinates me, and I am eager to explore advanced analytical techniques and their practical applications in the real world.

The Master of Science in Business Analytics program at UCLA is an ideal fit for my career aspirations due to its emphasis on applying theoretical knowledge to real-world business challenges. The program’s rigorous curriculum, which encompasses statistical and computational tools, will refine my analytical skills. At the same time, its focus on practical applications through case studies and projects aligns with my hands-on learning preference. Additionally, UCLA’s strong industry connections and vibrant, innovative environment will provide me with unparalleled access to networking opportunities and cutting-edge research in business analytics.

My career goal is to become a leader in business analytics, where I can influence major strategic decisions through data-driven insights. I aim to bridge the gap between technical teams and strategic business operations, enhancing an organization’s ability to make informed decisions based on robust analytical data. 

Ultimately, the comprehensive training and resources at UCLA will enhance my current skills and equip me with a broader understanding of global business trends and technological advancements. This program is an opportunity to advance my education and a crucial step towards achieving my long-term career objectives of leading innovative projects that drive business success through technology and analytics.

3. Personal Statement: Personal motivation for applying to UCLA Anderson. Please share any relevant experiences, challenges, or accomplishments.

I am applying to the UCLA Anderson Master of Science in Business Analytics program driven by a mission to meld my technical expertise with advanced analytical skills to spearhead transformative business strategies. The journey from a software engineer to a prospective business analytics professional has been marked by continuous learning, overcoming challenges, and significant professional accomplishments. My tenure at GeekyAnts as a Senior Software Engineer equipped me with profound technical skills and an acute understanding of business operations, setting a solid foundation for my aspirations in business analytics.

One of the most defining moments of my career was spearheading the development of a white-label cloud platform for a high-profile client. This project enhanced our client’s operational efficiency and scaled their e-commerce capabilities, reflecting directly on a 20% increase in order fulfillment efficiency. The success of this project was not just a professional milestone; it underscored the potential of integrating analytical insights with software solutions to drive business growth, which sparked my interest in business analytics.

Despite these successes, my journey has not been without challenges. Early in my career, I faced the daunting task of leading a team resistant to change, particularly when it involved integrating new technologies into our existing systems. Through this experience, I learned the importance of effective communication and leadership in managing change—indispensable skills in business analytics. Successfully navigating this challenge taught me how to inspire and lead a team toward a common goal under complex circumstances, preparing me for future leadership roles.

Moreover, my professional growth was complemented by a solid academic background in electronics and communication engineering. However, I realized that to transition into a strategic role, I needed a deeper understanding of data analytics and its applications in solving real-world business problems. The Business Analytics program at UCLA Anderson, with its cutting-edge curriculum and emphasis on practical analytics applications in business contexts, presents the perfect opportunity to gain these skills.

UCLA Anderson is renowned not only for its academic rigor but also for its collaborative culture, which resonates deeply with my professional experiences and personal values. The diversity of thought and background represented at Anderson encourages a rich exchange of ideas and perspectives, which is crucial for innovation in analytics. Additionally, the program’s strong industry connections and focus on real-world applications are particularly appealing to me, as they provide an ideal platform to apply theoretical knowledge in practical settings, mirroring my project-driven approach at GeekyAnts.

My decision to apply to UCLA Anderson is also motivated by the program’s holistic approach, including leadership training and technical education. This aligns perfectly with my career aspirations to lead cross-functional teams in designing data-driven business solutions. The opportunity to learn from and interact with leading practitioners and academics will expand my understanding and enhance my capabilities, enabling me to contribute effectively to any business environment.

On a personal level, my experiences working with diverse teams and managing complex projects have prepared me to thrive in UCLA Anderson’s collaborative and challenging environment. I am particularly excited about engaging with the broader Anderson community, participating in clubs, and contributing to group projects, where I can share my experiences and learn from my peers.

In conclusion, my application to the UCLA Anderson Master of Science in Business Analytics is driven by a precise alignment between my professional experiences, career goals, and the program’s values and offerings. I am eager to leverage this opportunity to advance my skills and contribute meaningfully to the Anderson community, ultimately leading to a career that marries my passion for technology with my commitment to impactful business solutions.

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UCLA Winning Sample Essays-2

Essay 1: Business analytics requires a combination of mathematical/quantitative abilities and creative thinking. Describe a project you worked on, either as a student or professional, that demonstrates your analytical and creative problem-solving skills. Tell us why this project was interesting to you. (Maximum 750 words)

During my tenure at a leading engineering consulting firm, I led a project to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs for a major utility company by integrating renewable energy sources into their existing grid infrastructure. This project required strong analytical and quantitative skills and creative problem-solving to address the unique challenges of energy integration.

The project began with a comprehensive analysis of the utility’s current energy consumption patterns and grid capabilities. Using advanced data analytics tools, I performed a detailed assessment of energy demand, peak usage times, and the potential for renewable energy generation. This phase involved gathering large datasets from smart meters, historical consumption records, and weather patterns. 

Ensuring data integrity and removing any inconsistencies were critical initial steps. I then developed predictive models to forecast energy demand and identify optimal times for renewable energy integration. I employed regression analysis and time series forecasting to understand consumption trends and predict future usage.

One of the most interesting aspects of this project was the need to solve the problem of energy storage and distribution creatively. Renewable energy sources like solar and wind are intermittent, creating challenges for consistent energy supply. I researched and recommended innovative energy storage solutions such as battery storage systems and pumped hydro storage to address this. I evaluated each option’s feasibility, cost, and implementation time, ensuring the solutions were both effective and practical. 

Additionally, I designed demand response programs to encourage consumers to shift their energy usage to off-peak times, developing an incentive-based system that was attractive to consumers while beneficial to the utility.

Stakeholder engagement was another crucial element of the project. I collaborated with engineers, environmental scientists, and policymakers to create a comprehensive implementation plan. My ability to communicate complex analytical findings in an accessible manner was crucial in gaining buy-in from all parties involved. This interdisciplinary approach ensured that our solutions were technically sound and aligned with regulatory requirements and community expectations.

The implementation phase involved close collaboration with the engineering team to integrate the recommended solutions into the grid. We launched pilot programs for battery storage and demand response in select areas to test the effectiveness of our strategies. These pilots provided valuable data and insights that informed our full-scale rollout. 

Additionally, we set up a real-time monitoring system to track energy usage and storage levels, allowing us to make data-driven decisions and adjust our strategies as needed. We also implemented a continuous improvement process where we regularly reviewed performance data and made adjustments to optimize efficiency and cost savings.

The project ultimately resulted in a 15% reduction in energy costs and a significant increase in the use of renewable energy, positioning the utility as a leader in sustainable energy practices. This outcome was a testament not only to our technical and analytical capabilities but also to our creative problem-solving and effective collaboration.

This project was particularly interesting to me for several reasons. First, it had a tangible impact on the utility company and the environment. Reducing reliance on non-renewable energy sources and cutting costs helped the company achieve its sustainability goals while providing more affordable energy to consumers. Second, the project’s complexity challenged me to use a wide range of skills—from advanced analytics to creative problem-solving and effective communication. 

It was a perfect blend of my technical and interpersonal abilities. Third, the project provided an incredible learning opportunity. I deepened my understanding of renewable energy technologies and gained valuable experience managing large-scale projects with multiple stakeholders. 

Finally, as someone passionate about sustainability and technology, I found this project to align perfectly with my personal values. It reinforced my commitment to using data and analytics to drive positive environmental change.

Leading this project showcased my ability to analyze complex data and solve problems creatively and underscored the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration. It was a rewarding experience that strengthened my skills and reinforced my dedication to making a meaningful impact through business analytics. 

Pursuing the Business Analytics program at UCLA will equip me with the advanced knowledge and tools needed to continue driving innovative solutions in the energy sector and beyond.

Essay 2: Statement of purpose: Share academic and professional background, skills, accomplishments; research interests; academic/career goals. Describe why this graduate program is a good fit for you.

I am …, an electrical engineer with over five years of experience in the utility and energy sector, specializing in grid modernization and renewable energy integration. My academic journey and professional experiences have equipped me with a robust analytical foundation and a deep understanding of the energy industry, driving my passion for leveraging data to solve complex problems. I am eager to further hone my skills and knowledge through the Business Analytics program at UCLA, which I believe is the ideal platform to achieve my academic and career aspirations.

I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Advanced Power Systems from Michigan Technological University. My academic training gave me a solid grounding in electrical systems and advanced analytical techniques. During my undergraduate studies, I actively participated in research projects focusing on renewable energy technologies and their applications in power systems, which sparked my interest in sustainable energy solutions.

Professionally, I have worked as an engineering consultant for a leading firm, where I have been involved in several high-impact projects. My role primarily focused on advising Fortune 500 clients on enhancing power distribution efficiency, integrating renewable energy sources, and developing disaster management strategies. These projects have allowed me to apply my analytical skills to real-world problems, using advanced data analytics tools and optimization techniques to drive efficiency and sustainability in the energy sector.

Throughout my career, I have developed a strong skill set that includes data analysis, statistical modeling, predictive analytics, and optimization. I have successfully led cross-functional teams, managed large datasets, and developed predictive models to forecast energy demand and optimize resource allocation. One of my notable accomplishments was leading a project that resulted in a 15% reduction in energy costs for a major utility company by integrating renewable energy sources and implementing innovative storage solutions.

Additionally, I founded “Sanskriti,” a cooperative that supports Jamdani weavers in West Bengal by providing fair pricing opportunities and helping them market their products directly, bypassing middlemen. This initiative supports sustainable business practices and contributes to the socio-economic upliftment of underprivileged communities.

My research interests lie at the intersection of business analytics and sustainable energy. I am particularly interested in exploring how advanced analytics can optimize renewable energy integration, enhance grid resilience, and drive cost efficiencies. I aim to investigate data-driven strategies for energy storage management, demand response, and predictive maintenance in power systems. By leveraging big data and machine learning techniques, I hope to contribute to developing smart grids that are both economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

My short-term goal is to transition from an engineering consultant to a management consultant within the energy, renewables, and sustainability sectors. I aim to comprehensively understand different business environments, challenges, and strategies to drive transformative projects. In the long term, I aspire to lead strategy at a global energy conglomerate, leveraging my industry experience and the advanced business analytics skills gained from UCLA. Ultimately, I plan to establish a consulting firm dedicated to enabling the digital transformation of Africa’s energy sector, contributing to sustainable development and energy efficiency on a larger scale.

The Business Analytics program at UCLA perfectly fits my academic and career goals for several reasons. Firstly, UCLA’s curriculum offers a rigorous blend of technical and business courses that align with my interests and aspirations. The program’s focus on advanced data analytics, machine learning, and optimization techniques will provide me with the cutting-edge skills needed to address complex problems in the energy sector.

UCLA’s commitment to sustainability and innovation resonates with my values and professional goals. The opportunity to engage with faculty members who are leaders in business analytics and sustainable energy is particularly appealing. I am excited about the prospect of contributing to and learning from UCLA’s vibrant research community.

The program’s emphasis on experiential learning through projects and industry collaborations will allow me to apply theoretical knowledge to practical challenges, bridging the gap between academia and industry. The extensive network of UCLA alumni and industry partners will also provide invaluable mentorship and career advancement opportunities.

In conclusion, I am confident that the Business Analytics program at UCLA will equip me with the knowledge, skills, and network necessary to achieve my goals and make a meaningful impact in sustainable energy. I am eager to bring my background, experiences, and passion to UCLA and contribute to its esteemed community.

Essay 3: Personal Statement: Personal motivation for applying to UCLA Anderson. Please share any relevant experiences, challenges, or accomplishments.

My journey toward higher education has been shaped by a combination of educational, personal, and cultural experiences that have given me a unique perspective and drive to contribute to diversity. Growing up in a low-income family in India, I witnessed firsthand the challenges of limited resources and opportunities. My father, the eldest of seven siblings, was responsible for supporting our extended family, often at the expense of his dreams and aspirations. 

Despite these hardships, he prioritized my education, mortgaging our house to fund my engineering degree at Michigan Technological University when I could not secure a scholarship. This significant sacrifice underscored the value of education and instilled a profound sense of responsibility to make the most of every opportunity.

These early experiences taught me the importance of resilience and persistence in the face of adversity. As a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field, I have encountered gender bias and stereotypes that often limited my opportunities. For instance, during my tenure at Commonwealth Inc., I was part of a team addressing emergency response strategies after Hurricane Irma. 

In a room full of male engineers, my suggestions were frequently overlooked until restated by my male manager. This condescending experience highlighted the pervasive gender bias within the engineering industry and motivated me to advocate for greater gender equality in my professional sphere.

To address these challenges, I have actively sought to support underrepresented groups in engineering and beyond. I have mentored young women engineers through the Women in Engineering (WIE) initiative and participated in STEM outreach programs to encourage girls to pursue careers in science and technology. 

Additionally, I founded “Sanskriti,” a cooperative that supports Jamdani weavers in West Bengal by providing fair pricing opportunities and helping them market their products directly. This initiative promotes sustainable business practices and contributes to the socio-economic upliftment of underprivileged communities.

My experiences have also informed my understanding of the barriers facing groups underrepresented in higher education. As a volunteer with NYKS, I worked in one of India’s poorest districts, East Singhbhum, where I led initiatives to provide vocational training and night classes for women who had dropped out of school. 

Helping over 40 women gain their high school certification and secure employment was a humbling experience that deepened my empathy for the struggles of those marginalized by socio-economic constraints. It also reinforced my commitment to using my skills and knowledge to drive positive change.

During my graduate studies at UCLA, I intend to engage in scholarly research and community engagement activities that promote diversity and equal opportunity. I plan to collaborate with faculty and peers on projects that explore data-driven strategies for enhancing renewable energy adoption and improving grid resilience in underserved communities. 

Additionally, I will leverage my role as a mentor and advocate to support initiatives that increase the participation of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM fields.

After earning my advanced degree, I envision contributing to diversity in my profession by advocating for inclusive practices and policies within the energy sector. I aspire to lead strategy at a global energy conglomerate, where I can influence decision-making processes to ensure that diverse perspectives are valued and integrated into sustainable energy solutions. By fostering an inclusive environment, I hope to inspire the next generation of engineers to pursue their passions without the constraints of bias or discrimination.

In conclusion, my personal and professional journey has equipped me with a deep understanding of the challenges facing underrepresented groups in higher education and the workforce. At UCLA, I am committed to advancing diversity and equal opportunity through my academic pursuits and community involvement, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and equitable society.

UCLA Recommendation Letters-Key Questions

Admission to UCLA MSBA requires the submission of two recommendation letters. It is suggested that letters of recommendation be written by individuals who can evaluate your quantitative skills and your management potential (e.g., professors, employers and managers).

The third recommendation letter is optional. If you do not wish to submit a third recommendation with your application, then enter any (arbitrary) email address and it will be ignored.


MSBA Recommendation Letters
(Free Samples & successful Examples)

Professor - Recommendation letter Sample 1

Date: 23 September 2023

Admissions Committee
Ms in Business Analytics Program
UC Davis

Subject: “Recommendation Letter for Akhila Mohan”

Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation for my former student, Akhila Mohan, who is applying for the Master’s in Business Analytics program at UC Davis. As her professor at COMSATS, where she pursued her Bachelor of Business Administration degree, I had the privilege of observing her brilliant academic and professional journey, which is punctuated with outstanding achievements. I am thrilled to support her application, as she possesses a unique blend of skills and qualities that make her an outstanding candidate for this program.

Academic Excellence and Analytical Skills

During her time at COMSATS, Akhila’s commitment to academic excellence was evident as she consistently ranked in the top 1% of her class and achieved remarkable results across all campuses. Her dedication to her studies and her exceptional intellect were further reflected in the numerous merit scholarships and medals she secured. She was an active leader in class discussions, curious and engaged, and consistently provided insightful contributions to diverse topics.

Initiative and Practical Application

Akhila’s interest in studying economic disparity within socioeconomic groups in Pakistan led her to survey women in underserved areas in her community. Using her research, she developed and implemented a financial literacy program to improve the livelihoods of economically disenfranchised women by imparting crucial money management knowledge and skills to enable their financial autonomy. This project showcases her ability to apply theoretical concepts to real-world problems, a critical skill in business analytics.

Leadership and Multitasking Abilities

Throughout her academic tenure, Akhila demonstrated a remarkable ability to balance a multitude of responsibilities while excelling in every endeavor, both within and beyond the classroom. Her multitasking prowess is evident in her successful completion of five internships while maintaining exceptional grades, and notably her involvement with AIESEC, which showcased her dedication to global awareness for SDGs and cross-cultural exchange. Through her leadership in promoting student exchange programs, she facilitated transformative experiences for over 100 individuals through international exchanges and professional internships.


In summary, Akhila possesses a rare combination of academic brilliance, practical problem-solving skills, and leadership qualities. I am confident that she will excel in the Master’s in Business Analytics program at UC Davis and make significant contributions to both the program and the broader field. I highly recommend her as an exceptional candidate.


[Recommender’s Name]
[Recommender’s Title]
[Institution Name]


Admissions Committee,
XXX University,

Date: 21 December 2022

Subject: Letter of Recommendation for Pranav

I have known Pranav for over two years now. He was a student in my Entrepreneurship course as part of his Minor in Entrepreneurship and Management. As a student in my class, Pranav showed great skill in applying these concepts in practical in-class quizzes, his final group business pitch at the end of the course, and his professional activities at UBS. Pranav also achieved remarkable performance in my course, earning the highest grade possible of A+.

Pranav stood out to me during the final project for the course evaluation. As a major assessment, I assign a project for students to work in groups and pitch a viable, self-sustaining business idea. Pranav took the initiative to create a multicultural and diverse team with students from different countries and majors, successfully delivering a business pitch for a student-run laundry and cleaning business. The idea was unique, and he actively sought my advice and mentorship to make the team and project successful.

Another noteworthy aspect is the analytical research Pranav conducted before and after seeking my advice. He made a concerted effort to learn about diverse topics he had not previously encountered and was able to grasp different aspects of entrepreneurship, such as management and finance. This demonstrated his goal-oriented and detail-oriented abilities. The idea, data-oriented research, and financial analysis were impressive, synthesized and executed effectively on assigned tasks. Additionally, the real-world considerations regarding the execution of the pitch and the cohesive delivery from a team collaboration perspective were excellent.

I was so impressed with the project that I asked Pranav if I could include the pitch and presentation as teaching material for my course. I also offered him a Research Assistant position for the following summer, which he was unable to accept due to his graduation.

Given his analytical skills and collaborative approach, it was no surprise to me that Pranav was able to transition into finance directly from his undergraduate studies in engineering, securing a role in finance with UBS in their Investment Banking Operations in Hong Kong.

In terms of areas for improvement, I believe Pranav’s analytical nature and attention to detail can sometimes lead him to get caught up in minutiae, affecting his time management. In the group project, Pranav struggled with time management and was a week behind schedule because he gave equal attention to all the details of the presentation, losing track of the bigger picture. With my guidance, he was able to get back on track and submitted the project by the deadline. However, I believe Pranav needs to develop a better overall view of projects to improve his time management.

Pranav is just beginning his financial career, but he already possesses analytical skills and an understanding of management, teamwork, and other organizational elements comparable to other top students I have recommended to Master’s programs. Pranav’s progress at CityU and UBS clearly demonstrates his intellect and dedication. He is capable and has a keen intellectual capacity for analytical thinking. I believe Pranav is on track to build a successful career that blends his quantitative inclinations with his qualitative skills, inspiring those he will lead and work with.

To conclude, I strongly recommend Pranav, and I would be happy to discuss his candidacy further if you have additional questions.




XX university

Here is a quick PDF of a sample recommendation our client submitted for a successful admit. 

Ut Austin Recommendation Letter Page 0001 - MSBA LOR Sample - Template - Ameerkhatri.com

How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate?

I have known Pranav for roughly one and a half years. I was his mentor during his internship with UBS. Although he completed his internship and has moved on, we still continue to keep in touch to exchange different business ideas.

What do you think about the candidate’s professional performance and potential (including any room for improvement)?

When Pranav started his internship with UBS, he was one of the most proactive interns. Since he didn’t have a finance background, he showed keen interest in learning and came up the curve very quickly. 

The team assigned him Automation and Efficiency-related projects, and while working in the automation team he managed to stand out from other interns by providing solutions that were slightly outside of the box and impressed everyone on the team. 

For instance, he met with various team leads to understand their automation requirements and one team lead expressed her frustration with the manual risk report that used to take 10-12 hours every quarter. After the meeting, Pranav took the proactive step of helping automate this report for the team. The specific process automation that he implemented was for risk reports for the risk team. The team had a manual time consuming process in which they had to refer to multiple Excel sheets to create their quarterly risk report. Pranav understood and mapped the entire process before using an automation tool to automate it. This led to a time reduction of 90 percent in the compilation of the report. The automation process he designed was ingenious; no one had thought of using it before, and that is why I think everyone was impressed with his out-of-the-box thinking. 

Apart from that, another one of his biggest strengths is his willingness to take initiative. 

To highlight another instance, he noticed the dashboards in Operations and wider UBS were on Tableau, he took the initiative to compare Tableau and PowerBi and pitched shifting the employee statistics dashboard to PowerBi. The management team agreed and Pranav successfully created an Employee demographic dashboard on PowerBi. This led to cost savings for the department as UBS was already paying for PowerBi. He also took even more initiative, helping others in his team and UBS get certified on PowerBi and documented his knowledge for everyone before he left his internship.

On the flip side, when it comes to areas of improvement, I would also say this proactiveness and eagerness sometimes led to difficult situations. Like other fresh hires, he was also trying to prove himself in the initial months of his tenure with the team. However, this often meant that he would try to manage and solve things on his own instead of seeking help. This led to delays and situations becoming critical.

Pranav was tasked with getting certified on Automation Anywhere, another automation tool used by the team. He was unable to crack the certification according to the timeline assigned to him and was delayed by a month in getting certified. He tried to manage and solve the situation but was unable to do so without help from his team, this delay led to an increased workload for the rest of the team and longer hours as work had been earmarked for Pranav to do as soon as he would be finished with the certification. 

Overall, I would say that Pranav has great potential; he is not afraid to take the initiative and present his ideas.

Manager – UBS, Hong Kong Offices

When it comes to writing great letter of recommendation, here are a few do’s and don’ts tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Business Analytics program:


1. Choose Relevant Recommenders:
Do: select recommenders who can provide detailed and specific examples of your technical and analytical skills. Ideally, these should be people who have directly supervised your work in relevant roles, such as data analysis, business intelligence, or any analytics-related projects.
Example: Your current or previous supervisors, project managers, or clients who have seen your analytical skills in action and can speak to your ability to handle complex data sets and derive meaningful insights.

2. Provide Context and Achievements:
Do: give your recommenders a comprehensive list of your accomplishments and the context in which you achieved them. Highlight your contributions to significant projects, especially those involving data analysis, statistical modeling, or the implementation of analytics solutions.
Example: Create a list detailing how your analysis led to actionable business decisions, cost savings, or process improvements. Share this list with your recommenders to help them write a more impactful letter.

3. Meet and Discuss Your Goals:
Do: meet with your recommenders to discuss your career goals, reasons for pursuing a Master’s in Business Analytics, and why you have chosen specific programs. This helps them tailor their letters to align with your aspirations and the program’s focus.
Example: Explain how the program’s curriculum, faculty, and resources will help you achieve your career goals in data science or business analytics.

4. Ensure Specific Examples:
Do: encourage your recommenders to include specific anecdotes that highlight your skills and accomplishments. Real-life examples add weight and credibility to your recommendation.
Example: Ask them to describe a particular project where you used your analytical skills to solve a complex problem, detailing your approach, tools used, and the impact of your work.

5. Set Early Deadlines:
Do: set early personal deadlines for your recommenders to ensure they complete the letters well before the application deadlines. This gives you a buffer period to follow up if needed.
Example: If your application is due on January 1st, ask your recommenders to submit their letters by December 1st to avoid last-minute issues.


1. Avoid High-Ranking but Unfamiliar Recommenders:
Don’t: choose recommenders based solely on their title or status if they are not familiar with your work. Letters from high-ranking individuals who cannot provide detailed and personal insights will be less effective.
Example: Avoid asking a company CEO or a prominent professor you met briefly unless they have worked closely with you and can provide specific examples of your skills and achievements.

2. Don’t Write the Letter Yourself:
Don’t: write the recommendation letter yourself, even if a recommender offers to sign it. Admissions committees can detect self-written letters, which can harm your credibility.
Example: If a recommender suggests this, politely decline and offer to provide them with all the necessary information to write the letter themselves.

3. Avoid Generic Content:
Don’t: let your recommenders submit generic letters that could apply to anyone. Generic praise without specific examples of your work and skills will not make your application stand out.
Example: Ensure your recommenders avoid statements like “X is a great team player” without context or evidence supporting such claims.

4. Don’t Overlook the Instructions:
Don’t: ignore the specific instructions and questions provided by each business school. Different programs might have different requirements for recommendation letters.
Example: Make sure your recommenders address each question posed by the school’s recommendation form and follow any formatting or submission guidelines provided.

5. Avoid Subordinates as Recommenders:
Don’t: ask subordinates to write your recommendation letters. Their perspective might not carry the same weight and could be seen as less objective.
Example: Recommendations should come from individuals in a supervisory or client role who can objectively evaluate your performance and potential.

These tailored do’s and don’ts will help ensure that your recommendation letters are strong, relevant, and supportive of your application to a Master’s in Business Analytics program.

Recommendation letter template specifically tailored for candidates applying to a Master’s in Business Analytics program, including different structuring and clear instructions for highlighting relevant skills:

Admissions Committee
[Business Analytics Program Name]
[University Name]
[University Address]
[City, State, ZIP Code]


Dear Members of the Admissions Committee,

It is my pleasure to recommend [Candidate’s Name] for the [Master’s in Business Analytics program] at [University Name]. I have had the privilege of working with [Candidate’s Name] at [Company Name] for [duration], where I serve as [Recommender’s Title]. In this time, I have observed [his/her/their] exceptional analytical skills and unwavering commitment to data-driven decision-making.

Analytical Skills and Achievements

One of [Candidate’s Name]’s standout projects was [specific project/task]. During this project, [he/she/they] [specific action taken], resulting in [quantifiable result/outcome]. This project clearly demonstrated [his/her/their] expertise in [relevant skills, e.g., data analysis, statistical modeling, predictive analytics].

In another significant endeavor, [Candidate’s Name] was responsible for [another specific project/task]. [He/She/They] utilized [specific tools or methodologies, e.g., Python, R, machine learning algorithms] to [specific action taken], which led to [quantifiable result/outcome]. This work highlights [his/her/their] ability to leverage complex datasets to drive strategic business decisions.

Problem-Solving and Innovation

[Candidate’s Name] is particularly adept at identifying business problems and formulating innovative solutions. For example, during [specific challenge], [he/she/they] [specific action taken], which significantly improved [specific metric or outcome]. [His/Her/Their] problem-solving skills and innovative approach are invaluable assets in the field of business analytics.

Collaboration and Leadership

[Candidate’s Name] excels not only as an individual contributor but also as a collaborative team member. In [specific team project], [he/she/they] [specific actions taken to lead or collaborate], fostering a productive and cohesive working environment. [His/Her/Their] ability to communicate complex analytical concepts to non-technical stakeholders was particularly noteworthy.

Constructive Feedback and Growth

In my experience, [Candidate’s Name] is highly receptive to feedback and committed to continuous improvement. I once advised [him/her/them] on [specific area for improvement], and [he/she/they] proactively [specific actions taken to improve], which led to [positive outcome or development]. This responsiveness and dedication to growth are crucial for success in a dynamic field like business analytics.


In summary, [Candidate’s Name] possesses a unique blend of technical expertise, problem-solving acumen, and collaborative spirit. I am confident that [he/she/they] will excel in the [Master’s in Business Analytics program] at [University Name] and make significant contributions to both the program and the broader field of business analytics.


[Recommender’s Name]
[Recommender’s Title]
[Company Name]

This template provides a structured format that highlights the candidate’s analytical skills, problem-solving abilities, and collaborative nature, making it suitable for applications to a Master’s in Business Analytics program.

Free Recommendation Letter sample text for masters application

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