Yesterday I met with four of my recommenders (my manager I'd met with on Monday) and gave them each their package (about 15 pages of material). I began each meeting by thanking them again for their help.
The support I received left me a bit speechless. I have had, overall, an amazing time at my company, but I knew in March that after my pet project was done I had to move on - either to a school to broaden my horizons, learn new skills and find my way into enterprise efficiency consulting, or to a smaller company where I could make more of an impact with my work and not face the level of bureaucracy a multi-billion dollar company must mandate to avoid liability. I had expected a tinge of bitterness, but every single meeting was positive and every recommender eager to help.
Overall, yesterday was very encouraging. Two downsides:
#1) One of the top-10 schools has changed the # of recommenders (within the last day or two), which means I need to exclude a recommender that I felt provided a unique viewpoint.
#2) I promised to deliver, by Monday, first drafts to every essay for the schools I'm targeting. One down, lots to go.