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A_Murphy

Gifts for your Recommenders?

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Hey all, I've got a twofold question:

1) Is it appropriate to get a small gift for your recommenders? Mine were helpful and really went the extra mile. Obviously they've already submitted their letters quite a while ago, so there shouldn't be any bribery implications.

2) If so, what are good gift ideas? I'm talking about gifts under $20-$30 here, so no iPad 2s. I have a couple of male recommenders, so I thought about getting them glass beer mugs from the school I eventually choose. Any other ideas?

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Hey all, I've got a twofold question:

1) Is it appropriate to get a small gift for your recommenders? Mine were helpful and really went the extra mile. Obviously they've already submitted their letters quite a while ago, so there shouldn't be any bribery implications.

2) If so, what are good gift ideas? I'm talking about gifts under $20-$30 here, so no iPad 2s. I have a couple of male recommenders, so I thought about getting them glass beer mugs from the school I eventually choose. Any other ideas?

I'm contemplating getting a dozen cookies from a very good local bakery for each of mine.

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I'm contemplating getting a dozen cookies from a very good local bakery for each of mine.

That's actually a cool idea, but I'm not sure the "made fresh" quality would survive the 3000-mile journey they may have to take. :unsure:

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That's actually a cool idea, but I'm not sure the "made fresh" quality would survive the 3000-mile journey they may have to take. :unsure:

haha, ah the advantage of having gone to a school within bussing distance ;)

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After I got accepted to my Masters program, I sent my recommenders really fancy cards, and offered to get them a pint the next time I was in town.

I think a small gift, with some sort of link to the university or to the subject, would be really nice and would be welcomed. :)

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I brought them some traditional Christmas candy from my home country when I returned from my winter break.

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I already posted this question in recently and received some good advice.

I am planning on making decorative thank-you cards from scratch, and buying a small gift. I like the idea of a box of chocolates, but that might sound too cliche.. I'm going to wait until I get some responses before I actually send them though, which might mean another month or two. THAT part of it bothers me though, I would rather send the thank you cards immediately. But it seems like everyone waits until they find out whether the letters were moderately successful, so I guess I'll do that too.

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is giving gifts a norm in non-science areas? i have never heard of anyone in science (bio, engineering, computer, physics, chemistry, and similar fields) who's given gifts to their recommenders. probably we should start the tradition, but i don't think scientists would really care... at least my recommenders don't care for sure. to show our gratitude, all we do is express deep and cordial thanks. and that's it! B)

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I hadn't really seriously considered sending gifts until I saw this thread. I am definitely going to do something, probably crafty - I like the idea of the handmade cards. I'm more of a knitter, myself, but in a pinch I can decoupage. My LOR writers really did a fantastic job, not just with their letters (which I obviously didn't see, but they were mentioned by adcom members), but with their follow-up, as well. My application schools contacted a couple of my LORs for additional information, and they were happy to act as boosters for me.

My appreciation increased tenfold after reading the letter-writing-related posts on Political Science Job Rumors (http://www.poliscijobrumors.com/topic.php?id=38427).

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I got small, personalized gifts for my recommenders. For example, I know one of my recommenders loves horses, so I got her a ceramic mug with some horses on it (about 15$). Another professor is very healthy, so I got her trail mix and other healthy snacks in a small gift bag. To the third one I simply sent a card with a heartfelt message, since she lives far away. hope this helps! Even just a card with a nice note is usually fine with them. They know we're starving students. :-)

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is giving gifts a norm in non-science areas? i have never heard of anyone in science (bio, engineering, computer, physics, chemistry, and similar fields) who's given gifts to their recommenders. probably we should start the tradition, but i don't think scientists would really care... at least my recommenders don't care for sure. to show our gratitude, all we do is express deep and cordial thanks. and that's it! B)

I don't know if this is outside of the norm, but I gave my recommenders a few USB drives with their names inscribed on it. They seemed quite happy and I know they are using them; I am handed files in them sometimes :-) A cheap and techie gift for a techie group of people :-)

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Yeah, I really love this personalized USB idea. Good for you for thinking of that, I'm sure they really appreciated it.

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I was wondering if anyone knows of a good place to buy some nice stationary online. I would like my thank you notes to look nice, since my recommenders have be nothing but helpful. I should probably start looking around Etsy when I have some free time...

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I was wondering if anyone knows of a good place to buy some nice stationary online. I would like my thank you notes to look nice, since my recommenders have be nothing but helpful. I should probably start looking around Etsy when I have some free time...

I love Paper Source :D try it if you have one in your area! amazing papers.

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is giving gifts a norm in non-science areas? i have never heard of anyone in science (bio, engineering, computer, physics, chemistry, and similar fields) who's given gifts to their recommenders. probably we should start the tradition, but i don't think scientists would really care... at least my recommenders don't care for sure. to show our gratitude, all we do is express deep and cordial thanks. and that's it! B)

why would they not care? i'm sure they'll appreciate it. maybe it's just that you haven't heard of it, doesn't mean it hasn't happened in the sciences :) scientists are people, too. My advisor insisted that I not give any gift but I gave anyway because he's like, my favorite professor ever :D, and I'm sure he'll like my gift. It gives him something to remember me by, too!

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What would be proper etiquette for giving a gift to a recommender who is a professor at your new graduate school?

I did research and study with this professor last year, which is why the prof wrote me a letter. I would like to appropriately thank this prof for writing me a letter that I'm sure was a big component on why I got into this graduate program.

So what would be appropriate but not over the top, since I will now be working with this prof during my graduate studies?

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What would be proper etiquette for giving a gift to a recommender who is a professor at your new graduate school?

I did research and study with this professor last year, which is why the prof wrote me a letter. I would like to appropriately thank this prof for writing me a letter that I'm sure was a big component on why I got into this graduate program.

So what would be appropriate but not over the top, since I will now be working with this prof during my graduate studies?

You cannot go wrong with a good bottle of wine, unless the recipient is an alcoholic or teetotaler. I've given wine to several past professors for letters of recommendation for grants and fellowships. I usually get them something from a vineyard near my hometown in California, to personalize it a bit, but no one does not appreciate wine.

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I love Paper Source :D try it if you have one in your area! amazing papers.

I know this is a bit cliche, but I use some high-quality cards I ordered from Hallmark. I gave my recommenders a gift card for their favorite coffee shop(s). :)

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I sent edible arrangements to my recommenders. Some are quite expensive, but I purchased ones in the $20-$25 range. They liked it a lot!

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