Hopefully you’re celebrating with some big news of acceptances — at least one, and maybe multiple! We’ve been inundated with many happy emails and updates from excited Brave Supplicants who are headed to bschool in the fall, and we do hope that you also are in that position.
In the rush of your big news of successes then there’s one important task you should not forget about:
Remember all those people who recommended you for admission? The current and former bosses who spent all that time on your apps? Now would be an excellent time to say THANK YOU!! to all of those people.
And we don’t mean just the excited “OMG thanks!” when you announce to your boss you got in. Yes you will do that, obviously, but there’s more to be done at this moment of power.
Having a gesture with people who believed in you, who went out of their way to make effort on your behalf, is a way to close the loop and make sure they know that you appreciate what they did.
It’s not like those people did it because they expected to get thanked or gifted later on.
However, you’re in a moment of power — a big win has happened that you worked hard to achieve. There’s an opening with that, and if you stay humble, and appreciative, and capture some of this energy in a way that sends it back to people in your life that you admire and respect, then it is a way of honoring it, for yourself and for them.
You can say “thank you” in any way that feels right for you, that’s appropriate to the nature of the relationship. It could be sending them a box of chocolates, or buying a gift card; gift-giving is still constrained based on our limited ability to interact (in another era, it would be a round of drinks, or a dinner — soon! this can hopefully happen again soon!). Maybe you’re the type to buy a formal thank-you card from a nice stationery store, and write your appreciate by hand. Obviously the minimum would be a well-crafted email but our opinion is that this moment deserves more. Reflect on this person. Take some time to think of something meaningful to say. Do more than just thank them. Tell them what you appreciate about them. Share some way that they helped you to develop and grow. Include a small reference to something that they may not even have recognized that was meaningful for you. Make it specific, and personal. Highlight their value to you in some way. Make it explicit.
Or if that all seems like too much, then at least be sure you directly communicate your gratitude and appreciation. Do what feels right to you, based on the nature of the relationship you have with him or her as an individual.
Don’t believe us on the difference it can make?
Underrated: Sending a follow-up to someone who has helped you (e.g. made an intro, gave advice, etc) on how things went. I received two email updates out of the blue and it completely made my day.
— Linda Xie (@ljxie) March 19, 2019
Showing your good manners, at these moments in life will make an impression, especially in this day and age when dang it, we’re all very stressed out. But that’s not why you’re doing it. You’re doing it for you. These people did something for you when they didn’t have to, and they clearly did it well enough that the schools want to have you. They didn’t phone it in or just rattle off meaningless answers to the questions that the schools asked for in the recs. (Or maybe they did, but even if so, they still went to the effort of completing them!! and whatever they said didn’t prevent you from getting accepted.) So an acknowledgement and a heart-felt ‘thank you’ is warranted. That’s just about being a decent person.
But what will actually happen if you go to the trouble of doing something more than the minimum is you will capture the magic of this moment in your life, this phase when you’re flying high from your successes, and like embedding in amber, it will crystallize in very fine memories. Those you will have for the rest of your life.
Beginnings and endings are important. You’re in a moment of big transition and these moments will float by so fast. Having a gesture with the people who matter and who have played a role in your life at such times will change you. As they say, sweat the details. The details are all that we have.
Just to be clear, this post is not a veiled attempt to get people to say ‘Thank You EssaySnark!!’ — we’re always thrilled to hear of BSers’ acceptances and MBA wins so such emails and updates announcing your admits are certainly fun to receive, but that’s not what this post is about. If you wanna let us know you got in we would love to hear it! But if not, that’s ok too. You should still thank your recommenders, either way. 🙂