UNC Kenan flagler Letter of Recommendation Questions
- How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate? (No word limit)
- If this is a work-related reference, in what position is/was the candidate employed and for how long? (No word limit)
- What do you consider to be the candidate’s principal strengths/talents? (No word limit)
- What do you consider to be the candidate’s weaknesses or areas that need improvement? (No word limit)
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UNC Kenan Flagler Letter of Recommendation Example – 1
1. How does the candidate’s performance compare to those of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (300 words)
Archana and I have worked together for almost 3 years, from early 2018 until now. I am the Director of Engineering at Cummins Inc, and I have supervised Archana while she led multi-discipline groups to execute several critical cost saving projects for the North American markets. I believe I am well-positioned to offer feedback on her professional skills and potential.
Three characteristics that set Archana apart from her peers are her ability to take on diverse challenging assignments, quickly learn new skills, and her willingness to help her teammates to complete their projects, often going well beyond her assigned work.
Archana does not shy away from challenges and willingly takes on complex and diverse projects which have a major impact on our organization. Throughout her career she has had to work on projects that range well outside her knowledge base. Her work has directly impacted Cummins’ bottom line, and in just two short years, she delivered $7 million in annual savings to the company. Because of her excellent leadership and wide-ranging problem-solving skills, she was recently promoted to lead the global cost reduction team. Archana, to no surprise, has progressed rapidly in her career compared to her peers.
Archana is a quick learner. When she started in the cost reduction role, she had little experience with the business and finance tools used in the industry, but she quickly developed the ability to assemble and interpret NPV calculations and understand how to perform thorough risk analysis. During the Covid-19 crisis, she worked on supply chain continuity projects to ensure production was not impacted due to part shortages. This work was unlike anything she had led before. Despite this, Archana did an excellent job by quickly understanding and overcoming supply chain challenges. Her work and leadership were directly responsible for preventing our global manufacturing facilities from shutting down.
Another quality that impressed me was her willingness to go above and beyond to help achieve not just individual but team success. In early 2019, two team members left the organization. Archana willingly stepped up to lead their projects. She “hit the ground running” and led these projects with minimal impact to the original timeline. This helped the cost reduction team in successfully achieving the yearly business targets.
Beyond her work responsibilities, she has also led the Corporate Responsibility Education team. Her strong work ethic and leadership ability has made non-profit education programs and ‘Women in STEM’ initiatives very successful. She was awarded the prestigious Cummins Social Impact Award for her community initiatives. In addition, she was also nominated and sponsored for the County Leadership program.
To summarize, Archana is a very skilled and driven individual. I have no doubt that she will go far in her career and make a major impact on her company and community. If accepted to your program, I have the utmost confidence that Archana will not only succeed but will add immense value to the classroom and her fellow classmates. If you have any additional questions or would like further details on my experience with Archana, please do not hesitate to contact me.
2. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the candidate. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (250 words)
When Archana began working for me, she often shared more than the required details during her meetings, especially during leadership updates. While engineers are often known for their ability to go deep into details, she needed to change her approach as the new role was more business oriented and messages needed to be curated based on the audience.
I discussed with Archana the need to manage her information sharing process in order to improve meeting efficiency and clarity. She very quickly took this advice to heart. First, she asked for examples of teammates who had mastered this skill and sought their feedback. In addition, she took a self-study course to learn industry best practices around leadership conversations. Within weeks, she began to change her behavior. Her meetings became more structured, and every meeting agenda and presentation was carefully designed to suit the audience. She was disciplined about what detail to share, offering to go into further detail but only diving deep in response to a direct query. This was a huge accomplishment as it helped in drastically improving leadership meeting efficiency.
Throughout this process I was extremely impressed by Archana’s willingness to seek feedback, but more importantly her proactive role in developing her own skill set. Her action to take a self-study course is unusual and highly valued. Archana still requests feedback on her information delivery, acknowledging that she wants to continue to develop this skill.
By the end of her time in that role, she was very effectively leading and coordinating multi-discipline personnel and was extremely efficient with information and resource management. Her willingness to seek feedback, take initiative in improving her skill set and adapt her behavior in response to feedback are excellent qualities that will prove extremely useful to her in the long run.
3. The college has a diverse student body and values students who are inclusive and encouraging of others with differing perspectives and backgrounds. Please tell us about a time when you witnessed the candidate living these values. (300 words)
In 2017, Archana met the members of the LCNFC non-profit organization and very eagerly joined them in improving the lives of the low-income groups in the community (In our organization Archana organizes events for LCNFC- I got involved in one of the event and got to know about her work). (When I talked to her about this initiative, she shared that …) To better understand the challenges faced by the poor, she participated in the United Way Poverty Simulation Workshop where she experienced the desperate situations faced by the community members and learnt ways in which she could effectively help. (That’s when I got to know about her drive to be a socially responsible leader..her passion to support the underprivileged people…) I was impressed by her willingness to gain first-hand experience, empathize and directly work with the low-income groups to find feasible solutions to their problems.
Recognizing the need within the community, over the last four years Archana has led multiple events and fundraisers for the LCNFC group. For example, after visiting a low-income neighborhood, she recognized that most households did not have the funds to buy basic hygiene products such as body wash and detergent. So, she worked on securing funds and volunteers to buy and distribute hygiene kits to the needy. She also worked with Cummins leadership and the non-profit leadership board to make the program sustainable by securing event funding support for the next five years. Additionally, at the end of every year, Archana also helps in organizing the ‘Angles of Love’ event through which Christmas Gifts are provided to kids from low-income families.This is her way of driving inclusion in the society and community.
Her ability to successfully organize events for the low-income groups by bringing people from diverse backgrounds, including executive leadership from within Cummins, together is commendable. I am confident that her collaborative nature and her ability to unite diverse groups toward a common greater goal will help immensely in driving positive changes even in the most challenging environments.
UNC Kenan Flagler Letter of Recommendation Example – 2
1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (Up to 50 words)
I have been working with Black and Veatch (BV) for six years now and I have known Snigdha for almost 3 years. I have worked closely with Snigdha guiding her on the technical aspects of projects she has worked on for the ITC team and have reviewed her work.
2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? (E.g. What are the applicant’s principal strengths?) (Up to 500 words)
Snigdha has been one of the strongest two or three engineers I’ve worked with in the past few years. I believe the qualities which have helped Snigdha standout from her peers are commitment to her deliverables and ability to lead her team through difficult situations. One of the best examples where I was truly impressed by Snigdha’ s leadership and commitment to her client was the Spearville & Post Rock station project.
The project was due for delivery in May 2020 and Snigdha was leading a team of 5 engineers and CAD Technicians for this project. During design she identified that the project scope was incorrectly defined and there was a need to revamp a critical portion of the project that was missed out in the original project scoping documents we received form the client. Snigdha notified and explained this to the client and was able to successfully request additional funding for the extra scope. However, the client wanted to stick to the original project deadline and did not agree on pushing out the delivery date despite additional work required to be done on our end. Simultaneously in March 2020 our offices were closed due to COVID and we moved to a remote work from home set up.
Now we all had to adapt to a changing work environment while maintaining our quality of work and meeting project deadlines. In a normal office setup, our system design CAD technicians work with high specification machines capable of handling heavy 3D modelling work. But most of the technicians did not have high specification machines at home yet. Due to these logistical challenges, once remote work started, the project’s timeline and budget became an even bigger hurdle.
Snigdha worked extensively to set up collaboration documents and spent a lot of time shifting all design processes and review processes online. She worked from the Ann Arbor location but managed the project with tech teams from Ann Arbor, Texas, and Denver to make use of all time zones and keep the work rolling and get the project completed.
Due to her leadership and commitment to her deliverable, we managed to finish the project on time. The client was happy, and we even got an appreciation email from the client team and from our company’s management too.
Another example I would like to highlight about her commitment is when Snigdha answered the need for engineering support out in California during the California wildfires in 2019. At this time, she was in Ann Arbor. We needed someone to relocate to California for a short duration to manage projects that were being impacted due to the wildfires. Her willingness to go halfway across the country, says a lot about her stewardship, and I would say goes beyond what would be expected of her.
Snigdha also likes to volunteer and organize team events, participate in potlucks, engagement survey committees to organize tailgate lunch events, diversity events such as Diwali, Chinese New Year, participate in women’s career fair panels etc.
3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (Up to 500 words)
In the post project review, she was given the feedback to speak up and be assertive about her projects. After that one escalation, she genuinely started taking a stad for her findings and speaking up in team meetings. It was nice to see her take the feedback positively and implement it quickly and since then none of her projects has ever gone over budget.
It is a known fact now that if Snigdha is taking on an assignment, we are sure to know it will be done before time and well within the budget. She has done an exceptional job managing project budgets and schedules.
Overall, I believe, Snigdha is a talented and hardworking girl, highly capable of achieving great heights in her career. I feel her decision to pursue MBA at this point makes perfect sense as it will help her understand multi-dimensional facades of business.
4. Is there anything else we should know? (Optional)
I highly recommend Snigdha for Kenan-Flagler’s MBA program. I have known Snigdha on both a professional and personal level ever since she joined our company. She is very sociable and loves to interact with everyone and make new friends. She has a very welcoming personality. It is nice to have someone in the team who is not only committed to delivering results but also equally committed to developing team bonding and emotional quotient. She is a quick learner, very enthusiastic and passionate about all her endeavors. When she informed me that this is the path she wants to take forward in life, it makes a lot of sense to me considering everything she wants to contribute and achieve. I have no doubts she will be an asset to the school.
I would like to use this opportunity to highlight the great reviews i have received about Snigdha’s work in XXX project from our client. I am attaching 2-3 screenshots of the positive feedback I have received from our clients on behalf of Snigdha.
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