UCLA Anderson Letter of Recommendation Questions
- How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate? (No word limit)
How does the applicant’s performance compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples.(No word limit)
Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
To download the complete letter of recommendation form for UCLA Anderson Click Here
UCLA Anderson Letter of Recommendation Example – 1
1. How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate?
I was Business Unit Director in MITEK Sports Medicine, Johnson & Johnson in China from July 2014 to Jan 2016. Tong was a Marketing Executive from JNJ management trainee program, and she was working closely with the sales and marketing team to help drive business growth.
During the period of serving in MITEK, Tong was leading the development and execution of our marketing plans. She provided intensive support to the sales team on events and surgical instrument management, and played a product management role of Small Anchors.
2. If this is a work-related reference, in what position is/was the candidate employed and for how long?
After working with Tong for couple of years, i believe her principal strengths are:
Being Innovative and taking risks
Tong was always passionate about doing things in different ways and putting new ideas into practice. As a marketing executive, she was the first one in the team to see the trend of digital marketing and initiated a digital marketing project which enables surgeons to watch live surgery online. This program recruited over 400 subscribers in the first month and built a positive brand image among top surgeons.
As a marketing executive, she did not only plan and execute marketing events but she also took extra responsibility to promote the use of small anchors in the new surgeries which contributed to sales growth. To expand our sales to the new surgical procedure, she initiated the workshop in the Top plastic hospital and developed solid professional education programs to increase the adoption rate among the trauma and plastic surgeons.
Tong can forge internal collaboration across all levels of the business units and in the meantime cultivate good relationships with outside customers. When we have cross department meeting, she was the best coordinator to align everyone’s requirements into discussion. To improve our sales team efficiency, she proactively developed a playbook of product instrumentation, which made the sales team and the distributors to check and to order instruments easily.
Demonstrating Learning Agility
Tong enjoys complexity and can deliver under touch, changing conditions. She is very persevering. Without any medical education background, Tong has been the knowledge center in terms of products, procedures and processes. Tong is highly interested in improvements and shows great willingness to learn from feedback, committed to personal improvement.
Overall her proactive nature and innovative ideas while striving to collaborate with everyone is what made Tong stand out in our team from her peers and other well qualified individuals and I really enjoyed working with her.
3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response.
When Tong joined JNJ for two years, I realized her potential and expected her to be a leader in the future. After working with her for 2 years, I told her that even though she had done a good job in the marketing team, she had to build relationships with clients and acquire her own market insights for management roles in the future.
As a marketing executive, she didn’t get much chance to interact with clients which I think was very important for her future development. I suggested that she should shift her role to the sales team for 1-2 years to get all-round business experience.
Surprisingly, she convinced me with another way to develop herself. She explained that she preferred to stay in the marketing team since she can view things with broader angles in the marketing position compared with a sales role in terms of getting market insights. Since in the marketing team, she looked at the national market rather than a few hospitals if took a sales role. But she agreed with me that she should work closely with clients not only for getting market insights but also for doing better work in currently role. After that conversation, she made a plan to visit key surgeons with sales regularly every month, discuss marketing event schedules with surgeons directly and communicate with sales about products sales every month, all of which equipped her as a product manager role. By making those efforts, she not only acquired better product knowledge and insights, but also built close relationships with trauma surgeons which contributed to her good job in marketing events planning. Those surgeons also very liked her and invited her to their medical seminar all the time. She thus got more connections among surgeons.
UCLA Anderson Letter of Recommendation Example – 2
1.What do you consider to be the candidate’s principal strengths/talents?
When I compare Kushagra’s performance with his team members, the skill that makes him stand apart is effectively collaborating with cross-functional teams involving stakeholders across multiple geographies.
Impressed by his ‘go-getter’ attitude and interpersonal skills, the leadership team showed faith in him by providing him the opportunity to lead a pilot initiative just after 1 year of joining. Since this project involved cross-functional teams from 5 different regions, the accountability and ownership amongst various stakeholders were unclear. He successfully navigated through the ambiguous scope of the project and managed stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds with relative ease. I observed that he put in commendable efforts while collaborating and coordinating with a third-party vendor, product, business, and legal teams to align day-to-day tasks. For his level of experience, Kushagra demonstrated excellent leadership skills and maturity when dealing with 30+ colleagues. Kushagra’s work contributed to getting the pilot project up and running in no time and contributed INR 50mn in savings in our direct toolkit parts procurement.
Another Kushagra’s key strength is his quick learning ability and his willingness to go above and beyond to solve problems for the team. For instance, we had to create a dashboard to monitor the progress of the projects executed by various teams daily. But the IT team was busy with other projects, and we needed to have the dashboard up and running to monitor critical business pipelines. Kushagra researched the tools required for the development of the dashboard and learned it. After working hard for almost 13 hours every day (he used to work till late at night), he equipped himself with the required tools to develop the dashboard. Such a drive to solve that specific problem was commendable, especially because none of our teams had implemented such a complex dashboard so fast before. In my 6 years of career, I have come across a limited number of young managers who show great dedication and resilience to solving a problem at hand. This instance made me notice Kushagra’s capabilities and commitment to the team.
Hence, after knowing him for 1.5 years professionally and observing him grow and learn, I think he is a well-rounded guy with a strong sense of task ownership and versatility, making him stand out from his peer group and earn him a well-deserved promotion.
2. What do you consider to be the candidate’s weaknesses or areas that need improvement?
While Kushagra had been an excellent asset for the team, in a few of his initial engagements with clients, we had some gaps that Kushagra could not deliver upon. On discussing further with him, we found out that most of the issues were due to the incorrect understanding of the requirements and communication gap with the internal team. I realized while Kushagra is great at taking ownership of the task and running with it until the desired result is achieved, he lacks project management skills & awareness about quality control measures we have before delivering anything to the clients, which he is now required to learn in his new role after promotion.
I gave him constructive feedback and told him to seek the guidance of other senior team members to improve the quality of his deliverables, 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 entirely with an increased focus on comprehensive quality control procedures and proper project management tasks. He created issue trackers where short and long-term mitigation plans for each issue were made and adhered to. He started having weekly cadence calls with the internal team to understand their requirements better and updating them on the project progress. His efforts have resulted in increased accuracy of his and his team’s deliverables. From that time onward, he has made sure to ask for help from other people, including myself, if there are some issues, and he has managed to lead projects more effectively and get things done before deadlines.
To Writing Great Letter of Recommendations