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NUS Letter of Recommendation Questions


  1. How long and in what capacity have you known the candidate? (No word limit)
  2. If this is a work-related reference, in what position is/was the candidate employed and for how long? (No word limit)
  3. What do you consider to be the candidate’s principal strengths/talents? (No word limit)
  4. What do you consider to be the candidate’s weaknesses or areas that need improvement? (No word limit)


NUS Letter of Recommendation Example – 1

1. How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity/context?

I have known Akanksha for the past three and a half years. Akanksha joined Deloitte USI as a fresh graduate engineer. I was a trainer for the 2 months long on-boarding Bootcamp program for her batch of 80 fresh graduate engineers.

After Bootcamp, she joined me in my team on a project for Omnicare client where I was leading the Integrations track. I was her project lead for one and a half years for various projects.

2. In your opinion, what is the candidate’s leadership potential for the next five years?

Akanksha’s best quality that shows her leadership potential is her ability to take complete independent ownership of tasks.

The first instance where I noticed this was during the Cardinal Health Project. I was her immediate supervisor and we were facing serious trouble managing a high volume of defects in integration testing. Akanksha volunteered to manage the defects of our track and in 2 weeks (what could have been 6 weeks) she had streamlined the whole defect management system with all stakeholders on the same page and all open issues in closed status.

Due to her exceptional performance on the track, I recommended her to be the defect manager of the whole project for all 5 tracks. She efficiently handled the responsibility and because of her efficiency and quick turnaround time, overall project defects resolution time was reduced to one-fourth. Her commendable efforts were highly appreciated by the client and Deloitte partners for our seamless production.

3. Please provide three memorable achievements the applicant attained in your company.

Akanksha’s first outstanding performance was during her Bootcamp training in Deloitte. Because of her exceptional display of potential in the training, she was the only trainee handpicked out of a batch of 80 fresh recruits to join an urgent live project for National Oil Varco client even before the Bootcamp ended.

Second, in her short tenure of 2 years in my team, Akanksha wrote 3 internal eminence papers, which is a rare feat for someone with only 2 years of experience. She also led “Deloitte Do You Know Series” for employees to share relevant and unique content regarding their projects and latest technology trends.

The third achievement I remember is when Akanksha won the spot award for the Cambria project and our team won the project award for providing unique and robust solutions of a common error handler tool that automated the error-handling and analysis reporting of all applications in the project.

4. Kindly provide an instance when the applicant exhibited any one of the following qualities.

(a) Entrepreneurship (b)Leadership (c) Exceptional work performance

The Omnicare project was running behind schedule and budget due to manual errors in the code migration process. Akanksha proposed a solution to automate the code migration process which could remove the chances of manual errors and increase the team’s efficiency. The senior management really liked the idea and asked her if she would be willing to take this as an additional responsibility to design the application. She took the initiative and designed the application to automate the code migration process. The application performed flawlessly and was used during all Omnicare project’s code migrations.

Due to Akanksha’s exceptional initiative and technical expertise, our team established a fully automated code migration process that eliminated all manual migration errors. This helped the team meet the stipulated deadlines and budget. She also presented a paper on this solution at Deloitte Eminence meet from where the application was approved to be used in 3 service lines of Deloitte.

5. From what you understand of the applicant, what are his/her main motivations or interests in life?

Based on the long and close working relationship I have had with Akanksha, I have observed that she is a very keen learner and is always ready to explore new things in life. This is one factor why she has such great initiative-taking ability.

Akanksha always pulled the project team into multiple cultural and fun activities on the floor which did not let boredom and fatigue settle in the team and contributed to a positive atmosphere within the team.

She loves to travel and explore new places. She took advantage of every vacation to travel to new destinations and when back she always had her travel stories to share. She was always the go-to person to organize team outings and off-sites with her unique and refreshing ideas.

NUS Letter of Recommendation Example – 2

1. How long have you known the applicant and in what capacity/context?

I have known Soumya since she joined the firm 2.5 years back as a Junior Analyst. I am the Director of Global Financial Institutions Centre of which Corporate and Investment Banking is a sub-team. I have direct visibility of her work in the team and have overseen her promotion to Analyst.

2. In your opinion, what is the candidate’s leadership potential for the next five years?

Soumya’s ability to be perceived as a leader has greatly improved since she joined the firm. She has shown superior communication skills and better temperament to handle unfamiliar or new challenges.

In the true spirit of a leader, she doesn’t shy away from taking team responsibilities such as training and mentoring fellow colleagues. She has lead business-unit wide training such as the Global Financial Institutions Centre (GFIC) Academy. She is also taking sub-unit level content and capability training for new joiners. Hence, she has been working on not only enhancing her skills but also of the team. Her ability and willingness to listen and understand the need of others is appreciated by all. She is able to handle working with people and efficiently work with them by recognizing their skills.

Hence, I believe, given the right guidance, coupled with her inherent capabilities, that Soumya can be a very effective leader in the future.

3. Please provide three memorable achievements the applicant attained in your company.

In her tenure of 2.5 years, Soumya has been a part of two high-impact external publications of McKinsey on the capital markets industry. She was a crucial member who helped define frameworks used in the publication and helped derive useful insights for a comprehensive analysis. She displayed efficacy in data collection and sound industry knowledge.

Further, we decided to present her the ‘McKinsey Research Leadership Award’ due to her strong research skills and ability to create opportunities even though she was a junior member. Given her good work, she was able to convert an offsite project for a publication to an invite onsite in Hong Kong.

Taking on additional team responsibilities, Soumya has also earned the reputation of an excellent coach for new joiners in the team early in her career. She is able to effectively train members on various content topics and databases, often also acting as an unofficial mentor.

4. Kindly provide an instance when the applicant exhibited any one of the the following qualities.
(a) Entrepreneurship (b) Leadership (c) Exceptional work performance

Soumya has clearly exhibited self- starter and entrepreneurial abilities, always seeking to expand the scope of her work to make tangible contributions to the team.

She took on the responsibility of process improvement and people development in the team. She realized the gap in the onboarding process and was quick in taking the lead to institutionalizing an ‘On-boarding and Training toolkit’. She collaborated with a team of 20+ professionals, identified key pain points, and created comprehensive material which is now extensively used for a smooth onboarding and transition into the team. New joiners now greatly benefit from this material which is a good primer for both content and capability building. I believe that this ability to recognize gaps and act swiftly will take Soumya very far as a leader.

5. From what you understand of the applicant, what are his/her main motivations or interests in life?

I have observed Soumya as someone who is not only dedicated to her core role but also doesn’t shy away from helping the team get knit together closely. She has been very enthusiastic about organizing various team events and outings. She remains motivated by her will to have a collaborative and open work environment. It is because of this that she brings a lot of positivity to the team.

Soumya has also held on to her interest in extra-curricular activities by performing at the various business unit level and center level events. We have seen her talent in dancing in the social section of the events of McKinsey such as Values Day, Family Day, and Knowledge Day. How she can manage tight deadlines along with being dedicated to participating in these events speaks to her multi-tasking abilities.

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