Washington Foster Letter of Recommendation Questions
- Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)
- 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)
- 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)
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Washington Foster Letter of Recommendation Example – 1
1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)
Karthik joined BrightMoney’s Data Science and Analytics team in 2021 as a senior analyst, and has been reporting directly to me since Nov 2021. He works with the marketing and product teams to generate data driven insights that help us grow our revenue and customer base.
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?) (500 words)
When Karthik joined us, he was new to the wealth management sector and had limited understanding of marketing practices to US audiences. However, he brought himself to speed with the workings of the company within a short span of time and now is the go to guy for all growth and marketing related projects.
He is someone who leads and takes complete end-to-end ownership of the projects that he works on. Because of this quality, I rarely require follow ups from him because I trust him to set his own targets and manage stakeholders to get the job done. He doesn’t wait for me to assign him a project and he himself proactively comes forward with new project ideas. One example of this is when Apple brought about its privacy updates. Like many companies that use digital marketing to target customers, we were negatively impacted. He took the initiative to work with the tech team to build a data reporting and tracking solution that enabled us to reach our audience without the need to access their private data. Thanks to his solution, we managed to grow from marketing on two to six channels. He also interacts regularly with our marketing managers and shares detailed reports with insights on how they can target our customers effectively. His ability to independently manage the reporting and analytics for six different marketing channels is a testament to his work ethic and diligence.
Karthik is open to new challenges and never restricts himself to his vertical. Recently, he was part of a fundraising activity that required him to gather data to present to our investors. Without any inhibitions, he interacted with our senior execs and other teams to collect the information. We were able to raise the funds successfully, thanks to his resourcefulness and collaborative spirit. His willingness to be involved in other projects is much appreciated in the organization. He also helps his teammates and responds promptly on the work channel when someone is stuck or struggling with an issue.
Karthik has a knack of breaking a complex problem into simpler parts. Comprehending a problem and presenting it in a way even a novice could understand, is a much needed quality. This is put to good use when he presents data to stakeholders and trains our new joinees.
I regularly interact with his teammates and other business stakeholders. They too share the same admiration and appreciation for him. In conclusion, Karthik’s initiative, drive, and interpersonal skills would make him a worthy addition, whether at a B school or a high-tech company. I firmly believe that an MBA, paired with his innate skills, would make him an excellent business leader.
3. Describe the most important piece of constructive feedback you have given the applicant. Please detail the circumstances and the applicant’s response. (500 words)
When he started with us, Karthik was not efficient at managing multiple stakeholders. He was effective when working with a single stakeholder, but as the number of stakeholders increased his productivity began to decline. I took a few one-on-one sessions to explain to him the importance of stakeholder management, how he could improve himself through effective communication and by setting the right expectations. After taking my advice he started communicating a lot more effectively than he used to. He now creates separate communication channels for every project he works on and uses that channel to share updates and set expectations to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page. He has also improved a lot in the way he manages meetings. He comes prepared and ensures that he listens to everyone and never lets a meeting go past its time limit. I’ve also seen a big improvement in the way he builds consensus when there are opposing ideas in the teams he manages. The results of these changes were evident, in a few months, when he worked on our fundraising and cost optimization projects. Both these required him to work with multiple stakeholders, including teams from finance and data platforms with whom he had no prior interaction. Thanks to his contribution, the fundraising was a hit and we successfully reduced our infrastructure costs by 12%. Karthik was awarded with the Sprint Star award for both these projects, in recognition of his hard work and collaborative spirit. His ability to acknowledge his shortcomings and work on them is commendable and precious. I look forward to his next stage of growth in his career.
Washington Foster 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.
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