If you live in the Roanoke or New River Valley region of Virginia, then it's likely you've heard of Donna Dilley or seen her on TV giving etiquette advice on everything from cell phones to global business.
Donna wrote an excellent post for Smart College Visit on how to dress and engage during a college admissions interview. It's one of the most frequently read posts on SmartCollgeVisit and it sparked my interest in getting to know her better. Now, she's become my go-to person for any question I have about responding with grace or thoughtfulness in certain situations.
This works great when I can wait until we can talk or exchange email, but during a recent Twitter chat a manners question was directed to me about college admission visits. A participant asked whether or not a student should respond to a thank-you-for-visiting letter from the admissions office following a campus tour.
As my mind raced to find an appropriate answer, the thought "What would Donna Dilley do?" popped into my head. Would she ignore the opportunity to respond with thanks? Is this an opportunity for the student to stand out with grace and intelligence to someone who has the power to make a decision that could impact the future path of a teen? Does someone's future hang on the value of a thank you note?
I responded as I think Donna would have advised:
@collegevisit: "So few ppl will respond to the TY letter, that if you do, you will def stand out in a good way #collegechat"
When it comes to college admissions, standing out is a good thing and saying thank you is an easy, accessible way to make a difference that counts, and as Donna has proven many, many times: manners count.
Donna Dilley will speak to Women in Leadership on "Etiquette in the Digital Age" on Wednesday, March 23, 2011.
Z. Kelly Queijo is the founder of Smart College Visit, Inc., developer of mobile campus guides for colleges and universities and owner of SmartCollegeVisit.com, a college visit portal. Smart College Visit, Inc. is a client of Handshake Media, the parent company of Handshake 2.0.