Thursday, August 30, 2018

ロス・スクール・オブ・ビジネス MBA Recommendation Questions

The University of Michigan MBA application is now live, for applicants targeting the Ross School of Business this 2018-2019 admissions season. This means that the Ross MBA recommendation questions are now available. Recommenders are asked to provide 50-500 word responses to three questions (in addition to a fourth optional response) about the applicant’s broad skills and receptiveness to feedback, to rate the applicant on a series of competency and character traits, and to offer some brief context about their relationship with the candidate.

2018-2019 Michigan / Ross MBA Recommendation Questions

Recommender Information

How long have you known the applicant?
During which period of time have you had the most frequent contact with the applicant?
If you are affiliated with Ross School of Business or University of Michigan, please indicate how.

Recommendation Form

In this section, you will find 12 competencies and character traits that contribute to successful leadership. The competencies and character traits are grouped into five categories:
  • Achievement
  • Influence
  • People
  • Personal Qualities
  • Cognitive Abilities
For each competency, please mark the one button corresponding to the behavior that you have seen the applicant most consistently exhibit. We acknowledge that all applicants have both areas of strength and areas of development. Your candid, honest appraisal will assist in evaluation of the applicant. Please assume that each level builds upon behaviors of the previous level.
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Reluctant to Take on New Tasks, Waits to Be Told What to Do; Defers to Others
  • Willing to Step in and Take Action When Required to Do So
  • Takes Charge Spontaneously When Problem Needs Attention
  • Volunteers for New Work Challenges; Proactively Puts in Extra Effort to Accomplish Critical or Difficult Tasks
  • Proactively Seeks High-impact Projects; Steps Up to Challenges Even When Things Are Not Going Well
Results Orientation
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Focuses on Fulfilling Activities at Hand; Unsure How Work Relates to Goals
  • Takes Actions to Overcome Obstacles to Achieve Goals
  • Independently Acts to Exceed Goals and Plans for Contingencies
  • Documents Activities and Outcomes to Learn From Past; Introduces Incremental Improvements to Raise the Effectiveness of Team
  • Invents New Approaches with Measurably Better Results; Works to Deliver Best-in-class Performance Improvements
Communication and Professional Impression, Poise and Presence
  • No basis for judgement
  • Struggles to Get Point Across; Neglects to Understand Audience’s Input or Perspective; Lacks Confidence and Gets Flustered Under Pressure
  • Works to Get Point Across; Acknowledges Feedback; Reframes Statements When Necessary to Make Them Clearer; Speaks Politely; Remains Composed in Known Circumstances
  • Present Views Clearly and Logically Structures Content for a Broad Audience; Listens and Responds to Feedback; Prepares in Advance to Appear Confident; Leaves a Positive and Professional Impression; Responds Confidently in Unfamiliar Situations
  • Uses Tailored Language That Appeals to Specific Groups; Restates What Others Have Said to Check for Understanding; Comes Across as Confident; Responds Rapidly and Strongly to Crisis; Looked to for Advice and Guidance
  • Structures Content for Senior-level Meetings; Maintains Composure When Challenged; Solicits Opinions and Concerns, Discusses Them Openly and Adjusts Communication; When in Strong Conflict or Crisis, Remains Cool Under Pressure; Channels Strong Emotion Into Positive Action
Influence and Collaboration
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Does Not Seek Input and Perspective of Others
  • Accepts Input From Others and Engages Them in Problem Solving
  • Seeks First to Understand Perspectives of Others; Takes Actions to Gain Their Support for Ideas and Initiatives
  • Uses Tailored Approaches to Connect with Others, Influence, and Achieve Results
  • Uses Tailored Influence Approaches to Create and Leverage a Network of Strategically Chosen Individuals to Improve Collective Outcomes
Respect for Others
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Unwilling to Acknowledge Others’ Points of View
  • Open to Considering Others’ Views When Confronted or Offered
  • Invites Input From Others Because of Expressed Respect for Them and Their Views
  • Praises People Publicly for Their Good Actions; Ensures That Others’ Opinions Are Heard Before Their Own
  • Uses Empathy and Personal Experience to Resolve Conflicts and Foster Mutual Respect; Reinforces Respect with Public Praise When Individuals Solicit and Use Input From Others
Team Leadership
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Struggles to Delegate Effectively (E.g. Micromanages); Does Not Organize Activities or Provide Appropriate Information to Complete Tasks
  • Assigns Tasks and Tells People What to Do; Checks When They Are Done
  • Solicits Ideas and Perspectives From the Team; Structures Activities; Holds Members Accountable
  • Actively Engages the Team to Develop Plans and Resolve Issues Through Collaboration; Shows the Impact of Individual/team Contributions
  • Recruits Others Into Duties or Roles Based on Insight Into Individual Abilities; Rewards Those Who Exceed Expectations; Provides Strong Organizational Support
Developing Others
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Focuses Only on One’s Own Growth; Critical of Others’ Efforts to Develop
  • Encourages People to Develop; Points Out Mistakes to Help People Develop and Praises Them for Improvements
  • Gives Specific Positive and Negative Behavioral Feedback to Support the Development of Others
  • Provides Overarching Practical Guiding Principles and Recommendations That Are Applicable in Multiple Situations to Direct or Focus Efforts on Specific Areas of Development
  • Identifies Potential in Others; Inspires Others to Develop by Providing Feedback, Mentoring/coaching, and Identifying New Growth Opportunities as Well as Supporting Their Effort to Change
Personal Qualities
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Follows the Crowd; Takes Path of Least Resistance; Gives in Under Pressure
  • Acts Consistently with Stated Intentions, Values, or Beliefs When It Is Easy to Do So
  • Acts Spontaneously and Consistently with Stated Intentions, Values, or Beliefs Despite Opposition
  • Initiates Actions Based on Values or Beliefs Even Though the Actions May Come with Reputational Risk; Demonstrates the Values of the Team or Organization Publicly
  • Demonstrates High Personal Integrity Even at Personal Cost; Holds People Accountable to the Team or Organizational Values
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Prefers Existing Ways of Doing Things; Fears Failure; Becomes Anxious Under Challenging Situations
  • Adapts to New Methods and Procedures When Required to Do So; Remains Calm in Unfamiliar Situations Until Confronted with Obstacle
  • Champions Adoption of New Initiatives and Processes; Exhibits Level-headedness in Most Environments Including Challenging Ones; Persists Until Obstacle Is Overcome
  • Seeks Out Disruptions as an Opportunity for Improvement; Remains Optimistic and Forward-looking in Difficult Situations That May Result in Failure
  • Energized by Projects with High Uncertainty but Potential for High Reward; Seeks to Be the First Into Unknown or Unfamiliar Situations; Welcomes Learning Opportunities Created by Failure;
  • Learns From Mistakes and Rebounds Quickly From Setbacks
Self Awareness
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Lacks Awareness of How He/She Is Perceived; Denies or Offers Excuses When Confronted
  • Acknowledges Fault or Performance Problem When Confronted with Concrete Example or Data
  • Describes Own Key Strengths and Weaknesses Accurately; Welcomes Feedback From Others and Discusses Opportunities to Change with Select Individuals
  • Actively Seeks Out Feedback to Explicitly Address Desired Improvement Areas or Build on Strengths; Explores Reasons for Problems Openly, Including Own Faults
  • Seeks Out Challenging and Potentially Risky Experiences to Improve; Identifies and Engages with Resources-people, Processes, or Content-to Maximize Strengths or Mitigate Weaknesses
Problem Solving
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Avoids Problems; When Faced with Problems, Sticks to What Worked Before, or Chooses an Obvious Path
  • Offers Solutions When the Risk Is Low; Focuses on Immediate, Short-term Implications Instead of the Big Picture
  • Looks Beyond the Obvious; Identifies and Focuses on the Critical Information Needed to Understand a Problem, Identifies Root Cause(s), and Comes Up with Reasonable Solutions
  • Gathers and Analyzes Key Information Using Complex Methods or Several Layers Deep; Integrates Perspectives From a Variety of Sources to Arrive at Unexpected but Practical and Effective Solutions
  • Applies Logic to Break Complex Problems Down Into Manageable Parts or Sub-problems; Solves Tough and Interconnected Problems and Can Explain How the Pieces Are Connected
Strategic Orientation
  • No Basis for Judgement
  • Focuses on Completing Work Without Understanding Implications
  • Understands Immediate Issues or Implications of Work or Analysis
  • Develops Insights or Recommendations Within Area of Responsibility That Have Improved Near-Term Business Performance
  • Develops Insights or Recommendations Within Area of Responsibility That Have Shaped Team/organization Strategy and Will Have Impact on Long-term Business Performance
  • Develops Insights or Recommendations Beyond Area of Responsibility with Impact on Long-term Business Strategy and Performance
(Optional) Is there anything about your rating on the grid categories which you would like to comment?
Based on your professional experience, how do you rate this applicant compared to her/his peer group?
  • Unable to assess
  • Below average
  • Average
  • Very good (well above average)
  • Excellent (top 10%)
  • Outstanding (top 5%)
  • The best encountered in my career
Overall, I
  • do not recommend this applicant
  • recommend this applicant, with reservations
  • recommend this applicant
  • enthusiastically recommend this applicant

Evaluative Questions

1. Please provide a brief description of your interaction with the applicant and, if applicable, the applicant’s role in your organization. (50 words)
2. How does the performance of the applicant compare to that of other well-qualified individuals in similar roles? Please provide specific examples. (E.g. what are the applicant’s principal strengths? (500 words)
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)
4. (Optional) Is there anything else we should know?

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