It’s that time of year when students have asked their mentors for letters of reference. While you wait to hear from the graduate, medical, or law school, you need to remember to send a quick update and perhaps thank you email to your letter writers. It’s good to remember to thank the team who helped you during the application process. People who took care of you, reviewed your statement of intent, and wrote you letters of reference.
Once you hear from the programs, make sure that you let your support team (friends, family, and your mentors) know that you got in or that you will be re-applying next year. I know that I appreciate the follow up emails. Also, remember that full-time tenure track faculty usually get paid a living wage and part of our expected duties includes mentoring and writing letters. However, the majority of faculty at universities are now contingent faculty who are exploited and are not paid a living wage–let alone paid to do this extra work. Many of these hard working colleagues write letters, mentor, and go above and beyond their job description. They are teaching work horses. This doesn’t mean that I like this or endorse it, but it is the sad reality of the two-tier system in higher education. Please remember to send them a thank you card, the coffee card or box of chocolates.
Good luck with the “waiting game.”