Caring for Your Sponsor

A good sponsor should be applauded and thanked. Think of the time she saved you, the fears and doubts she salved.

One thing you can do is ask if there is anything you can do for the sponsor while you are still in the U.S. Is there something you can bring them from the Mega-Safeway? Is there a new children's book out, or a favorite snack food, or another new Tom Clancy/John Grisham doorstop-sized novel that isn't available in Jakarta yet? Be creative, sweat the details, and thank your sponsor.

If you are attached to a company or organization that frequently sends people abroad, consider setting up a “Returnee File”, where employees just back from an overseas assignment list their names, contact info and host country. New folks destined for that same host country can check the file and make contact to learn more about what to expect.

Depending on the size and corporate culture at your company, this can become a formal program maybe run through Human Resources, or something as casual as buying someone lunch in return for her fielding your questions for an hour. A bargain for sure.

Of course the best way of repaying the debt you'll owe a great sponsor is to turn around and do the same thing a year from now when you're called on to sponsor a newcomer.

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