Put your best application forward: Requesting references

As you consider your application for the MS in Real Estate Development, we invite you to share in the accumulated wisdom of our School of Management graduate admissions staff.   Collectively, they estimate that they have reviewed hundreds of thousands of applications, essays and resumes.  Here’s a look at some of what they’ve learned along the way….

Requesting references
Advice from Erika Waxbom, Assistant Director, MBA Programs, School of Management

The two required professional references are a critical part of your School of Management graduate application.  A little advance planning can help ensure that you’ll have references that enhance your application–and that you’ll have them on time.

  • Before you begin your on-line application, contact the people you’ve determined will speak most positively about your professional performance—preferably current and/or former supervisors.  Ask your potential references if they’d be willing to write a letter in your behalf.  Give them some background on the degree you’re planning to pursue and your interest in that field.
  • Once they’ve agreed, let them know that they’ll be receiving an e-mail from George Mason University with the recommendation form.
  • Be sure you have the correct e-mail addresses to enter into your application.  When your save your application, the “Recommendation for Graduate Study” form will go to those addresses.  Your references will return the forms directly to the Graduate Admissions Office.
  • Be sure to give your recommenders at least four weeks to respond.  Check your application status to see that the recommendations have been received.  You may need to do a gentle follow-up if they haven’t.
  • Once the recommendations are in, a note of thanks to your references is always a nice touch.

Next up: Make the most of your interview opportunity

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Janet Palmisano

Janet Palmisano is a member of the Recruiting and Admissions team at the George Mason University School of Business.

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