Comments (20)

May 15, 2014

I got nice (but not outrageous) writing pens that came in appropriately distinguished gift boxes for each of my recommenders. I also got one for my main essay proofreader. Fortunately I didn't have to spend a ton considering none of them work in industries where it'd be common to have exorbitantly priced pens displayed on mahogany desks. Kept it under $70/each and they all seemed to genuinely like the gesture. I of course sent nice thank you cards as well.

You could always go with a nice bottle of their favorite liquor but that's pretty obvious and perhaps less memorable once it's been enjoyed.

May 15, 2014

I did restaurant gift certificates ($100 I think). Basically, a thank you for spending your free time helping me out, so now go take your wife/husband out for dinner on me. Nothing too special or crazy.

Best Response
May 15, 2014

I got them bottles of expensive tequila then went out and got wasted with them.

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May 15, 2014

One of my recomenders was an older Irish dude. We spent some time traveling together, and he often got a glass of jameson as a night cap. I got him a slightly nicer bottle of jameson (jameson 12?) than his normal jameson. It seemed to go over well.

So yeah, if your recommend is an Irish dude, get him whiskey?

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May 15, 2014

I did a round of golf for one and 2 bottles of wine for the other. $100-150 each. It's all monopoly money now anyways.

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May 15, 2014

When I was accepted to my current MFE program, I bought all of my recommenders a nice (not ridiculous- $70, AOC) bottle of Champaigne and a box of Frango mints (being from Chicago and all).

May 15, 2014

Either expensive golf balls, an expensive leather passport holder or an expensive leather wallet. I adjusted per each person's preferences.

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May 15, 2014

I went with a nice bottle of wine plus a small school-related gift for each of my recommenders.

May 16, 2014

I got them each a bottle of something, depending on their drinking preferences, when I received my admissions letter. Nothing that expensive, but good stuff - Blue Label, etc. around $100/person.

May 16, 2014

Not b-school recommenders, rather mentors who helped me get my current job, but I got one of them a bottle of Lagavulin 16 y.o, as he liked peated single malts but had never tried Lagavulin before, and I bought two Cohiba Siglo VI cigars for the other, which we smoked together (he was into cigars). Didn't break the bank, and both were very appreciative.

May 16, 2014

Now I'm pissed. Not one person who I have written a recommendation for has gotten me a gift. I didn't even know that was a thing.

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May 16, 2014
DickFuld:

Now I'm pissed. Not one person who I have written a recommendation for has gotten me a gift. I didn't even know that was a thing.

1.) How many people under 30 have been direct or indirect reports to you in the past 30 years?
2.) How many b-school recs have you written in the past 30 years?

Yeah, that's what I thought Mr. CEO.

May 16, 2014

1. ~0 direct. Over 10,000 indirect.
2. Between employees and the kids of friends/neighbors/clients, I've signed my name to over 100, at least.

May 16, 2014

Did you write the letters or did they write them? Or did your admin write them?

May 16, 2014

Usually they did. I think that's how most are done.

May 16, 2014

I gave my referrers a template and then all of them decided to write their own. That, combined with the fact that I got into a great program may have been a factor in my decision to give gifts.

May 16, 2014

Coke?

For the more old-fashioned guys maybe some Cubans...just make sure they have decent fake IDs.

May 17, 2014

Got my female recommender a spa gift card and males an expensive bottle of scotch.

In terms of timing, I gave it to them immediately after they handed in the recs. I think giving them a gift before getting in is more appropriate.

May 17, 2014
mango123:

I think giving them a gift before getting in is more appropriate.

Nah man. The gift should come out once you get it in there...trust me on this.

May 17, 2014
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Betsy Massar
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