With Thanksgiving upon us, this seems a perfect time to think about all of the people who have helped you in the MBA admissions process thus far.

Very often, in the throes of essay writing and interview prep, we get lost in your own heads.  We’re sleep-deprived, focused on our own deliverables, balancing full-time jobs on top of it all.  Perhaps we’ve even felt the heartbreak of receiving disappointing news from one of our dream schools. We’re likely not thinking about too many other people right now.

However, it’s never too early, or too late, to show your appreciation to those who have given their time and support to you through the admissions process.

First and foremost, your recommenders.  They’ve spent hours upon hours hearing your story, preparing their write-ups, glowing about you, and doing everything within their power to help you get accepted to business school.  Secondly, your friends and family.  The ones who’ve diligently proofread your essays, encouraged you to aim high, listened to you complain, and missed spending time with you as you holed up with your computer.  Thirdly, all of the alumni, students, and faculty members you may have reached out to with questions along the way.  People who’ve taken their time to set up a meeting/call with you and share their insights about the program.

Not only will they feel much more gratified by their efforts to help you (and be inclined to do it again), but also you will make a positive impression that could potentially still impact you favorably in the admissions process.

What is the best way to express your gratitude?  At the most, a thoughtful gift (nice bottle of wine, gift certificate to a favorite restaurant/store/theater, home-baked cookies, engraved business card holder).  At the least, a kind and genuine note (hand-written adds a special touch) letting them know how much you appreciate them.   Use your judgment to determine what would be appropriate for whom.  In any scenario, a small but authentic gesture goes a very long way.

Finally, where applicable, always remember to thank your interviewers.  No matter how “casual” the interview may have seemed, don’t be fooled.  You are still very much under evaluation until you’ve got an acceptance letter in your hand.  Promptly follow each interview with a professional thank you note (email is fine) thanking them for their time, reflecting upon the conversation, and reinforcing your strong interest in the program.

To that point… we at Shine would like to thank all of the MBA hopefuls, graduates, admissions officers, fellow consultants, test prep advisors, bloggers, and interested readers for enlightening us, supporting us, and making us feel tremendously rewarded by the work that we do.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

[For more information about MBA admissions consulting, please contact us at info@shineadmissions.com]

© Hillary Schubach, November 21, 2012  10:28am MT