It’s interesting how the smallest of activities like saying thanks can have an impact far beyond what one can imagine. Saying thanks is also something that this generation doesn’t do as often as they should.
Suppose someone writes a reference for you for a scholarship. It takes very little effort to send a thank you note for helping you out. You should also let the person know if you were awarded the scholarship.
Think about the following situations. They probably warrant a thank you and a follow up note.
- Writing a reference letter
- Helping you out of a problem
- Giving you advice on an important question
Here’s an example of a thank you note.
First off, I wanted to thank you for writing the letter of recommendation for me for the Library of Congress position. The interviewers were extremely impressed, and it got me far in the process. In fact, it got me so far that I got the position! I couldn’t have been more excited, since I have been wanting to return to live in Washington, D.C. ever since my Junior year in high school. I ended up not taking the job. I noticed a position open up in a research lab, and I applied as soon as I read its description. After receiving a job offer at the research lab, I turned down the offer at the Library of Congress. Now I am working in the Department of Reproductive Immunology and Molecular Biology. (I actually just presented a 40 minute seminar yesterday!) Right now we are running research on causes for inhibition of sperm motility and possible male contraceptive routes. I find this extremely exciting. I hope to get my bachelor’s in chemical engineering, a certificate in biomedical engineering, and then to apply for medical school. Pediatrics and OB/GYN is my main interest at the moment, which is why I could not turn down this excellent opportunity.
What makes this thank you note effective is that it is a specific follow up on support given to the student. Just imagine how the thank you would make you feel. This is how you develop mentors.
Thank you by email is fine, but it should be timely. The important thing is to make saying thanks a part of who you are as a person..