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Author Topic: Recommender Etiquette?  (Read 1708 times)

ak362

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Recommender Etiquette?
« on: July 17, 2008, 01:07:26 AM »
Before I left London, I asked (months in advance) if my study abroad law professor could write me a LOR for law school. I received an e-mail last night saying it's been written and available for pickup. A friend of mine is going to pick it up and mail it to me, but I wanted to know what would be the best way to thank her... since she is, well.. literally on the other side of the ocean. I feel an e-mail thank you wouldn't suffice, but conventional gifts (e.g. chocolate, wine, etc.) wouldn't work either.

What do you think would be the best way to say thank you to a recommender who's a few thousand miles away?

Thanks,

AK

PaleForce

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2008, 01:47:23 AM »
Some people send their recommenders gifts.  I don't think this is appropriate considering it is part of a professor's job (at least in the states, I don't know about overseas, but I would think it would be comparable) and could be viewed as something that's less than ethical by that person's colleagues.  Trading good LORs for some sweet stuff, etc.  Not that this is what is actually happening.  Where your recommender is out of the country, maybe a small, USA-specific (if they're not American) or state-specific gift might be appropriate.  Especially if they've never been here before.  Like, if you're from Vermont, maybe send a classy-looking bottle of maple syrup and some maple sugar candies (this is not a great example, but it's 1:30am & that's all I could come up with!). 

For my recommenders, I sent them a hand-written thank-you note and have dropped into their offices while on campus to say hi a few times.  (Making sure to do so after the letter was received by the LSDAS so it didn't seem like I was doing so to butter them up).  I plan on sending a postcard from the school I attend, thanking them again for their help.

As an aside...did you get to read the LOR?  I gave my recommenders a paid, addressed envelope and they just mailed it from there.  I'm curious if anyone actually got to see theirs.

Gone

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2008, 05:51:43 PM »
Just not Vermont cheddar....unless you're trying to kill the prof.
Best of luck to everyone!

PaleForce

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2008, 06:30:58 PM »
Just not Vermont cheddar....unless you're trying to kill the prof.

 :D

meggo

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2008, 11:56:47 PM »
I probably wouldn't send your prof an American specific gift unless you were 100% sure they had never visited the states.
As a study abroad prof. in London I would assume they had probably been to the US, at least once and sending something like maple syrup would be heavy as it would come in either a can or a glass jar (if it comes in any other format, as far as I'm concerned, it's not real). I would definitely check with the university (I'm assuming it's a university of London college so it should be somewhere on the main site) to confirm that they can receive gifts. I love the idea of sending your LOR's a postcard from your law school. But in the meantime, I see no reason not to send the prof something. Maybe a giftcard to Waterstones or W.H. Smith? Do you know what they like? I guess it depends how well you know them but there are loads of London companies who do interesting quirky gifts. For mine and my boyfriend's one year anniversary (which we were apart for) I sent cupcakes to his office with a personalized message from Lola's Cupcakes. If you know what they would enjoy I could recommend some places to you if you can't think of any off the top of your head.

PaleForce

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2008, 12:03:32 AM »
sending something like maple syrup would be heavy as it would come in either a can or a glass jar (if it comes in any other format, as far as I'm concerned, it's not real).
  Good point, and agreed that you shouldn't send it if it comes in a plastic container- even though it's the same stuff, it would be lame/cheap for a gift.   

For mine and my boyfriend's one year anniversary (which we were apart for) I sent cupcakes to his office with a personalized message from Lola's Cupcakes.
  That's cute :)

Gone

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2008, 01:08:07 AM »
I probably wouldn't send your prof an American specific gift unless you were 100% sure they had never visited the states.
As a study abroad prof. in London I would assume they had probably been to the US, at least once and sending something like maple syrup would be heavy as it would come in either a can or a glass jar (if it comes in any other format, as far as I'm concerned, it's not real). I would definitely check with the university (I'm assuming it's a university of London college so it should be somewhere on the main site) to confirm that they can receive gifts. I love the idea of sending your LOR's a postcard from your law school. But in the meantime, I see no reason not to send the prof something. Maybe a giftcard to Waterstones or W.H. Smith? Do you know what they like? I guess it depends how well you know them but there are loads of London companies who do interesting quirky gifts. For mine and my boyfriend's one year anniversary (which we were apart for) I sent cupcakes to his office with a personalized message from Lola's Cupcakes. If you know what they would enjoy I could recommend some places to you if you can't think of any off the top of your head.

More elaborate than a postcard from your law school, how about something cool from the school's store with the schools logo? That way the prof can have it in the office and if people ask can proudly talk about how she helped you.
Best of luck to everyone!

PaleForce

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2008, 01:47:11 AM »

More elaborate than a postcard from your law school, how about something cool from the school's store with the schools logo? That way the prof can have it in the office and if people ask can proudly talk about how she helped you.

I was thinking about doing that too, GeneralYankee, (with something small- under $30), but then I thought about all the stuff that campus stores usually sell.  Bottle openers, shot glass, pendants, t-shirts, stuffed animals, etc. and none of it seemed appropriate or classy enough to send to my recommenders.  Also, if it's something functional, like a paperweight or really nicely done coffee mug-- I wonder how much they'll use it, or whether it'll get thrown in the back of a cabinet.  Not that it really matters if they'll use it.  But, I always try to get gifts for people that they'll actually use, not just because it's semi-appropriate for the person.  I'm probably way overthinking this.

ak362

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Re: Recommender Etiquette?
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2008, 06:01:58 PM »
I wrote a thank you note on our university's stationery paper. Seemed like the best way to approach it.