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Should I say thank you/gift or send a application status update to my recommenders after getting all denied?
I applied to about 4 schools this year and got all denied (some after interview). Even though I thanked my recommenders through email promptly within a day after they submitted my last recommendation, I have not sent them any application update after that for obvious reasons.
I think that letting them know of my application status update even when it is a reject is the courteous thing to do. However, saying thank you or sending gift for their effort when the outcome is reject does not seem right. Anybody here in the same boat?
I have not seen much gifting for recommendations in the industry I work in, hi tech. Some of the gift ideas on this forum like wines and jewelery - are they acceptable and appropriate, esp since the recommender is someone who is expected to appraise you and such gift giving can under certain situations be seen as inappropriate.
You should send them a thank you regardless of the outcome. You are thanking them for the time and effort they put in to the recommendations, not for a specific outcome. Even though they may be expected to evaluate you at work, filling out recommendations for bschool goes over and above this and is something they are doing voluntarily. How much to spend on a gift is up to you, but in my view not sending anything at all would be pretty inconsiderate. _________________
I would absolutely get them a thank you gift, or at the very minimum, a thank you card. Writing recommendations takes a lot of time and effort (I've done it for others, so I know how much work it can be if done right). As the previous poster mentioned, regardless of the outcome, you should thank them for their time and effort. I bought gifts for my recommenders that matched their interests: I train for triathlons with two of my recommenders, so I bought them triathlon gear they'd been interested in; another is a big fan of nice scotch, so I bought him a bottle of his favourite brand; the other loves travel and guitar music, so I bought him a travel book and some great guitar music.
If gifts are not appropriate given your relationship / culture, then perhaps just a hand-written note and a sincere thanks? The acknowledgement of the time and effort is the most important, not the price / extravagance of the gift.
I think a gift of some sort is pretty much non-negotiable, regardless of the admissions outcome. You want to show them that you appreciate the time they took to help you out, particularly if you think you may be looking for recommenders for next year's applications. Even if you're not reapplying, they still deserve that courtesy. It doesn't have to be expensive--at matticus said, something relatively cheap that fits one of their interests and shows some thoughtfulness on your part is enough. _________________
I think a gift of some sort is pretty much non-negotiable, regardless of the admissions outcome. You want to show them that you appreciate the time they took to help you out, particularly if you think you may be looking for recommenders for next year's applications. Even if you're not reapplying, they still deserve that courtesy. It doesn't have to be expensive--at matticus said, something relatively cheap that fits one of their interests and shows some thoughtfulness on your part is enough.
I don't see it as an ethical issue in any way. And what do you mean "affecting their reco"? It's not like you're using a gift as a bribe in exchange for a stronger recommendation next year, you're just thanking them for the time they took to help you out. _________________
Ok, I didn't consider the cultural angle. I guess in some cultures a tangible gift may be inappropriate. What about something like taking the recommender out to lunch or dinner? If that's still too much, just go with a handwritten thank you card and you should be fine. _________________
A little something is certainly in order. For what it is worth, I did a bundle of cigars for one and picked up the tab at a steakhouse for the other. No need to do anything over the top. Just something that says I appreciate the time and effort you put into writing.