Thanking Your Business School Recommenders

If you’re like many of our clients applying to business school in Round 2, you may have put the finishing touches on one of your last applications this week. Congrats! We can still recall the sense of relief from our time in your shoes. While we know it can feel like mental overload to add another task to your plate, there is one final thing it’s important not to let slide – thanking your business school recommenders.

As we’re sure you can imagine, it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare and submit this critical application component. While your business school recommenders were likely happy to do this for you, it is still work (on top of everything else on their plate, which you totally get having balanced work and applications over the last several months, right?).

Start with a Thoughtful Note

As such, showing your gratitude for their efforts is more than appropriate. So, what is a suitable way to do this? It’s likely your business school recommenders are at least slightly older than you and perhaps don’t share your interests or lifestyle. That’s intimidating, we get it!

However, at the root of it, the goal is truly just to acknowledge the effort they took out of their busy schedules to help you. It’s not about lavish items or large dollar amounts. Therefore, the first place to start is always a handwritten, sincerely worded thank you note. Whatever you select to go along with your note is just icing on the cake.

A Few Gift Ideas

That said, here are some ideas to get you started.

  • A nice bottle of wine, such as a red in the $30-40 range, is a generally a crowd pleaser. A site like can help you navigate the options.
  • Some low maintenance greenery, like a succulent from Lula’s Garden, is a nice way to brighten your business school recommender’s office in the middle of another pandemic winter.
  • The MOST delicious pears from Harry and David are always a treat. Seriously, they are amazing and worth every penny.
  • If your recommender is a cocktail connoisseur, a cocktail kit from Cocktail Courier can give them something special to look forward to after work.
  • Particularly if you know there is a certain cause near and dear to your recommender’s heart, a contribution to a related charity is a great way to go.

At the end of the day, hopefully you know your business school recommenders fairly well – well enough to be familiar with their interests. Thoughtfulness and personalization are key to a thank you gift that sufficiently expresses your appreciation.

We wish you all the best as you await responses from your schools!                      

Here are some articles to peruse while you wait!

The Sound of Silence…You Hit Submit, Now What?       

Prepare for These Three Questions Before Your MBA Interview                                                                                                                             

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