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Oxford Said Letter of Recommendation

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Oxford Said Letter of Recommendation Questions 2023-24

  1. Elaborate on your ratings you have given the candidate above.
  2. How long you have known the candidate and in what capacity?
  3. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  4. How you think the candidate would benefit from the programme.

We require two professional or academic references.

Using the online application form you will need to submit two references, preferably from professional referees. Once your referee details are input into the form, your referee will receive an automatic email from the School with details on how to complete the online reference form. Please note we can only accept references from a valid work/professional/institutional email address and not from Gmail/Hotmail accounts.

Oxford Said Letter of Recommendation Example – 1

1. Elaborate on your ratings you have given the candidate above.

During my interactions with Andrew (Name Changed) for AMG Projects on the development of interior trims, I found him taking initiatives in supplier development and negotiations though it was not under his purview. Hence, I have rated him “exceeds expectation” in energy and drive.

He also never shied away from taking responsibility & always has a strong conviction towards achieving the goal by motivating all stakeholders. Working with him for two years, I always liked the way he carried his team forward and motivated them. Thus, I believe he is competent in leadership skills and has the ability to work in diverse teams. My ratings are based on all such experiences I have while working with Andrew (Name Changed).

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

I have known Andrew (Name Changed) for more than 2 years now since he started working for AMG Projects on design and development of car interiors. I have been working with Andrew (Name Changed) as his internal stakeholder.

3. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths:

I believe one of Andrew (Name Changed)’s principal strengths is effectively collaborating with cross-functional teams involving stakeholders across multiple geographies.

Impressed by his ‘go-getter’ attitude, he was provided the opportunity to work on BTV functions (Component Responsible) for floor trims last year. Since this project involved cross-functional teams from different geographies and time zones, communication as a whole was a challenge. Andrew (Name Changed) worked outside his office hours to manage project work between globally dispersed teams.

One specific instance, I can quote is while working with company Karl Etzel in Germany. To resolve the issues arising in mould flow, Andrew (Name Changed) worked outside of his office hours to align with the supplier as the project was already delayed due to technical challenges arising in any new development. He knew exactly how to phrase and put up his request to the various cross-functional teams and get the job done with ease. He was able to successfully navigate the project and manage stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds with relative ease.

I observed that he put in commendable efforts while collaborating and coordinating with suppliers, styling, packaging and assembly teams in Sindelfingen, Affalterbach and Bremen to get the alignment on day-to-day tasks. For his level of experience, Andrew (Name Changed) demonstrated excellent leadership skills and maturity when dealing with 20+ colleagues and 3 suppliers.

Another key strength of Andrew (Name Changed) is his excellent problem-solving skills. For example, at the time of final release of the Footplate – important passenger safety component, Andrew (Name Changed) had to rework and change the product strategy to accommodate newly electrical components. Andrew (Name Changed) was tasked to redesign and innovate assembly concepts within a week.  Despite a flurry of activity, he remained calm and cool. He researched on TV remote battery cover fixation concept and applied it in the Footplate design.  Such a fresh perspective to solving that specific problem was unique, especially because none of our teams had implemented this design before. Andrew (Name Changed)’s work contributed to on-time delivery of products with positive results in crash simulations.

In my 20 years of career, I have come across a limited number of young product design engineers who show such great dedication and creativity to solving a problem at hand, and it was this instance that made me notice Andrew (Name Changed)’s capabilities and commitment to the team. I am sure his excellent networking and problem-solving skills will serve him well in being successful in any walk of life.

Weakness:

Andrew (Name Changed) always seeks to add value beyond his mandate, which makes him the strong professional that he is today. However, I feel that in a few instances, he has been somewhat overconfident in his abilities to deliver products. At times he would take on too much work and would set unrealistic deadlines for the required tasks.

I distinctly remember an instance in which Andrew (Name Changed) proposed Ideal Automotive (Supplier) an overly ambitious timeline to provide floor design. This was music to our ears since we were facing significant pressure from the project to have the right parts for the first vehicle built.

While his analysis to meet the target in the given time frame looked promising, Andrew (Name Changed) later found out that the overall time to complete the task would go beyond the proposed schedule because of the new Body-in-White structure. As a result, he and his team stretched outside office hours and finished the job with a delay of one week. This was totally unacceptable by the senior leadership.  I believe that Andrew (Name Changed) needs to temper expectations in order to not compromise on quality or accuracy.

I provided him with my feedback and was delighted to see that he took it constructively. Eventually, he started analysing the risks and tried to improve on this weakness. He took the time to fully understand the risks involved in meeting the deadlines. As a result, he is now able to streamline his work effectively. I have not seen any evidence of such an instance since.

4. How you think the candidate would benefit from the programme.

Andrew (Name Changed) is an excellent engineer. He has excellent teamwork skills and international exposure. It is commonly said that great business ideas fail because they do not have strong financial backing. He has great ideas when it comes to engineering, but he needs to learn its business aspect to deliver outstanding products. Sometimes his ideas fail to meet the financial directions.

An Oxford MBA will strengthen his foundation in general management, strategic thinking and finance modelling. He will also get to familiarize with various research and analytical tools which will be helpful to him for entering in product management role which he aspires for. Further sharing experiences in a diverse class will strengthen his global outlook.

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Oxford Said Letter of Recommendation Example – 2

1. Elaborate on your ratings you have given the candidate above.

Aarav (Name Changed)’s initial responsibilities were strictly technical, developing interior components for AMG vehicles. However, he had clearly mastered these within a matter of months and was asked to take additional responsibilities of the first In-house engineering project at MBRDI. Aarav (Name Changed)’s strength is not only his knowledge but also his ability to pass on his knowledge to co-workers through simple and actionable instructions which he has clearly demonstrated in his recent assignment, where he supervised four team members who do not directly report to him. Aarav (Name Changed) has a natural disposition to bringing people together & the sheer life that he infuses into team just by his actions is a quality that very few people possess; hence, exceeds expectation.

When senior managers want to get a complex situation or project resolved quickly and well, they invariably turn to Aarav (Name Changed). For example, when they wanted to get a slow-moving project running smoothly to meet the Digital Release milestone, they needed Aarav (Name Changed) to handle escalations. Because of Aarav (Name Changed)’s leadership and vision, the product maturity objective for Digital Release was met in a span of 20 days, which was above and beyond my expectations.

I have supervised many excellent professionals, what makes Aarav (Name Changed) stand out is his keen business foresight, exceptional risk mitigation & project management skills.

All of the above is considered as basis on my ratings.

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

Aarav (Name Changed) and I have been working together for 3 years. Being the senior technical lead and supervisor for AMG Interior Development Projects at Mercedes Benz Research and Development India, I supervise as well as mentor Aarav (Name Changed). We have interactions several times a week. Moreover, we have numerous presentations with our suppliers on resolution of technical challenges, timeline reviews and cost planning.

3. What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths:

I believe Aarav (Name Changed) excels in multi-tasking and team coordination.

In 2017, the AMG team was occupied and preparing for the market launch of Mercedes – AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. At the same time we had to start a new project (Mercedes SL Roadster) – development of luggage & carpet trims and door-side rails. Aarav (Name Changed) proactively took the lead and started working on the SL Roadster project.

Simultaneously, he also coordinated the design work for Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe. A new development project involves multiple tasks such as product conceptualisation, design, cost management, and coordinating with various cross functional teams such as marketing, sales, purchase and the competence team. Aarav (Name Changed) divided the project into small manageable tasks, allocated responsibilities to the team members and defined the schedule. Although Aarav (Name Changed) had no experience in these activities, he did it in a seamless manner. Despite having new team members, he successfully led the team of 4 and was easily able to adapt, collaborate and work together with the team.

He learned the strengths and weaknesses of his team members, and then utilized that knowledge to get the best out of each one; he trained them on Daimler processes, gave feedback and empowered them to make decisions on fit and finish of the product. He managed all the deliverables of the new project on schedule. He has earned a lot of appreciation for this work from the team members, Program Manager and Vice President of the department.

Aarav (Name Changed) also has an excellent product and process knowledge, and corporate communication skills. This is evident from his numerous presentations to his German supervisors. His strong command over German language has helped him in persuading and convincing his counterparts in conflict situations. One specific instance I can quote is when he successfully convinced the management of Mercedes-AMG GmbH to go with wrapping technology for development of Parcel shelf, though wrapping technology is costlier than press cutting technology by 20%, as it would enhance the customer experience. The cost calculations and projected savings in the long term and supplier development for future carlines were the major points which helped him to convince the management.

Along with this, he also established a platform for a joint discussion for technical and commercial feasibility among cross functional teams which resulted in significant reduction in development lead time. These qualities makes him stand-out among his peers. I believe, they will also help him grow during his MBA program and take up management roles.

Weakness:

While Aarav (Name Changed) has been a great asset for the team, in his initial engagement on AMG Project, we had some gaps which Aarav (Name Changed) was not able to deliver upon. I realized while Aarav (Name Changed) is excellent at taking ownership of the task and run with it until the desired result is achieved, but he lacks project management skills.

I gave him my feedback and told him to seek the guidance of other senior team members, as this is not about learning technical tools anymore. Soft Skills are best acquired by taking guidance from experienced members of the team.

He has acted on the feedback and turned it around wholly with increased focus on proper project management.  He created an open issue list where short and long-term mitigation plans for each issue were created and adhered to. He worked on his German language skills in order to build synergy with his German teammates. His efforts have resulted in increased productivity of his and his team’s deliverables. From that time onward, he has made sure to ask for help from other people, including myself, in case there are some issues, and he has managed to lead projects more effectively and to get things done before deadlines.

4. How you think the candidate would benefit from the programme.

Aarav (Name Changed) has great potential for senior management role and I believe that OXFORD MBA will shape his leadership skills and help him to channelize his thoughts / ideas to create an impact for him and his organization.

MBA at OXFORD will also give him an opportunity to expand his theoretical and experiential knowledge from cross functional domain which I believe is essential to be a successful manager in today’s globally interlinked working culture.

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