I was asked to start this thread at the request of someone since he/she thought it might be helpful to other prospective applicants.
So as some of you guys know, i'm currently working on several different projects and am pretty confident that I could get 2 very solid recs. I know for a fact that my previous supervisors won't write my letters this time around, and even if they wanted to, they're terrible rec writers and won't add any value to my chances.
So the question is: how much of a red flag is it to not get a rec from a previous employer if you were with them for a long time? Would the situation be different if you're a re-applicant, and the adcom can go back and look at letters from your previous employer?
I've gotten different thoughts from various sources. A person I talked to on adcom at a M7 said that they don't care where the letters come from; they care about quality and depth. She said that adcom understands fully that situations with companies change, and it may be awkward or even detrimental to ask a previous employer for a rec. However, she did make it clear that other schools may look at this issue differently.
Any thought/advice would be greatly appreciated.