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How Far do Letters of Recommendation Really Get You?

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Juliana Moxley
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Published on July 2, 2015

Larraine Naquin answers some of our readers’ questions about whether or not a recommendation from a billionaire will help you get a job at an investment bank.

Grady L. Andersen: Would a recommendation from a billionaire help even if they don’t have direct connections to the firm I’m applying to?

Larraine Naquin: Hi Grady, good question and I actually had a similar experience with a recommendation. A long time family friend is the CEO of a very well known company. He’s known me for years and our two families get together to celebrate most holidays.

I asked him for a letter of recommendation for a business internship I was applying for, and his response was, “I know nothing about what type of employee you are. I know you’re a good person, but I have no idea how you conduct yourself in a professional setting.”

So, I would have to say it all depends on what your relationship with the billionaire is. If he doesn’t know how you work, maybe help him out for a few days so he gets an idea and can write an accurate recommendation.

Sonya Sharififard: Hi Grady: As Larraine mentioned, you’d need a recommendation from someone who is able to evaluate your work ethic.

If the party has worked with you professionally, and can validate your qualifications in investment banking, ask her/him for a recommendation.

Richard Bryant: I’m not sure if anyone can ever guarantee you a position, but most the billionaires I can think of (Bill Gates, Elon Musk, etc.) have a pretty huge amount of clout, so I’m sure it wouldn’t hurt.

Juliana Moxley

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