Those applying to LUMS for their MBA program frequently ask me about the importance of recommendation letters in the application process – moreover they ask if they should get reference letters from their undergraduate professors or from their current or past employers. Well before I answer these queries let me stress on the fact that the letters of recommendation are one of the most important aspect of your LUMS MBA application. Selecting the right recommenders is essential along with what the referees write about you.

Who should recommendations come from?

The Admissions Board at the LUMS business school would ideally love to see one recommendation should come from a current or recent supervisor who knows you well and can attest to your leadership ability. However, this is not always possible since you may be self-employed or work in a family business; or maybe you don’t want to notify your current employer or supervisor about your intent to apply to LUMS business school.

If that is the case then use your best judgment to find the right referee — may be an indirect manager or supervisor or even a client or colleague who can evaluate your work. The second reference letter may come from someone who is your teacher or has taught you at the undergraduate level.

How can recommenders submit their recommendations?

All recommenders must provide their references in a sealed, signed and stamped envelope to the applicants – applicants can then submit these letters with their supporting documents to the LUMS admissions committee.

Is the recommendation deadline the same as the application deadline?

Yes – the deadline to submit the references is the same as the deadline to submit the supporting documents. If the applications are submitted without the reference letters, your application will not be considered.

Can I submit two academic or two professional reference letters?

Yes you can but it is not recommended that you do that – in order to have a nice balanced application you must submit one academic and one professional reference letter. In my opinion you must get an academic reference letter from a professor who has taught you a quantitative intense course. The professional letter should ideally come from an employer who has supervised you on a project or task where you showed your leadership and managerial abilities.