Many of the professors at Baruch classify themselves as “real world,” which means that rather than just teaching theories, they tell stories applying these theories to experiences they’ve had in order to make the ideas easier to grasp. Personally, I think it’s great and really adds more credibility to what’s being said. But some professors take it too far and make “real world” assignments totally unrealistic.
My mgt 3800 prof, for example, wants us to give a writing sample. The scenario is: your boss invited you and your family to stay with him and his family up at a ski resort. No other employees were invited, just you, and the setting had a casual feel. You spent most of the weekend together socializing, with only a little time spent on business, and now that you’re back, you need to hand write a thank you letter for the vacation.
Okay, here are my issues:
1) How likely is it that your boss is going to invite you, and only you, on a vacation with him? Not very.
2) If said boss did invite you, wouldn’t you be on good enough terms and close enough that a hand written thank you wasn’t necessary? The prof is making this out to be such a serious thing that could really make or break your relationship. I mean, obviously you would thank him in person and perhaps send an email thanking him again, but a handwritten note seems like overkill.
3) What exactly do you say? Since it’s a writing sample, I know he wants more than two lines, but what is there to say, really, besides “thanks for your generous invitation, my family and I really enjoyed the time spent getting to know you and your family”? Not much. I prefer to keep things short and sweet, which just won’t cut it for this assignment 😦
I think this is also a generational thing. For better or worse, thank you notes have fallen out of favor. You send them for milestone gifts (graduation, wedding, baby shower) and post-interview or promotion, but not much else. Why would I send a note for other things when I can just thank the person over the phone or face to face? They got the message the first time. Sigh. I guess I’ll end my little rant here and try to get back to doing the assignment…..we’ll see how that goes…..