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Post-Interview Thank You Emails


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Interviews for grad school can be exciting and exhausting. The in-house interview I went to was 2 days of straight one on one interviews, with 10+ faculty/post-docs. If I count grad students that I spent a considerable amount on one on one time with, then I interviewed with 14 different people. 


Here is the problem: I want to send thank you emails and I want them to be personalized. But it seems a little crazy to write up 14 emails when my head is still swimming from meeting so many people. 


Anyone have any suggestions? 


Also, does anyone have any suggestions on the content of thank you emails? Would it be weird to mention that a certain professor's student was very helpful in the thank you to the professor? 


Thanks for any help! 


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I emailed only the faculty interviewers and wrote a short, four sentence personalized email. For example, I thanked them each for their time, and thanked one for showing me the NMR core facilities after our interview (I asked if he would be willing--not standard), another for touring me through his lab after the interview, and another for introducing me to his collaborator who also collaborated with the person who collaborates with my PI and wrote me a letter of rec (wow that's a confusing linkage typed out). I ended with "I look forward to the prospect of attending UNC this fall" (it's my top choice) and signed it.

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How long after the interview is a good time to send a thank you e-mail? Is a week too long?

I sent mine the Sunday I got home, after I unpacked, did laundry, and spent an hour staring at the wall. For a typical Thursday-Saturday/Sunday interview weekend, I think I'd feel comfortable sending thank-yous through the following Tuesday. I like immediacy, so I try to afford others the same. Also, if you're writing thank-yous because you're hoping for your interviewers to advocate for you in the admissions committee meeting, your email needs to make it to them before that meeting happens.


In one of my thank-yous I did mention how helpful their student was (5th year student of POI was my student host for the whole day), but only very briefly.

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I kept mine short and sweet -- a thank you for having them take time out of their day to meet with me + a reaffirmation of my interest in their research/the program. Not all PIs will respond (some will wait until you get accepted) and it is very unlikely it will have an effect on your admission's decision, but it is a nice gesture and can keep you in contact with faculty that could end up playing a significant part in your grad career.

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