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A Thankful Pause: Reflecting on and Building Professional Relationships

Having just closed out November and celebrated Thanksgiving, this is a great time to reflect on the many things that we have to be thankful for, and how we can thank the people who are important in our lives.

A simple word or letter of thanks is not hard to give, and can go a long way.

If you are an MBA applicant, this is the perfect time to thank your recommenders and your mentors.

Professionally, these people have likely been instrumental in your development thus far, and are just as interested in watching you grow from this point forward.

Such relationships are a precious resource that should not be undervalued.

Even though the glow of that delicious Thanksgiving meal has faded slightly, take some time now and think about your recommenders, your mentors, and the role that these people have played in your life.

Remember advice that you were particularly grateful for, times when you turned to them for help, or ways that they have helped you achieve and succeed.

Having thought about those things, take the time to write them down in a short note (or email, if you must) of thanks, and send to your mentor or recommender.

Though it might seem old-fashioned, such simple gestures can go a long way towards sustaining and building very important relationships.

As most in the working world have found out, the ability to build and maintain strong relationships is one of the most valuable assets in the business world.

One Business Insider article even claims, “The Most Important Thing About Your MBA is the Alumni Network,” and the article drives home an important point.

Relationships matter, and MBA programs offer ample opportunity to develop unique relationships with bright, talented, hard-working individuals.

That opportunity, as well as the opportunity to maintain strong relationships with mentors and advisors, should be embraced as a key component of your education.

So, now and going forward, spend time building professional relationships and networks.

Take the time and make the effort to get to know your co-workers, to express sincere thanks for the help others have given you, and to seek out a wide range of professionals, both in your industry and beyond.

Building a diverse network of professional relationships takes time and dedication, and there is no better time to start than right now, as you are about to embark on an MBA degree.

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