I am an engineering student and an intern at a company in Canada.

I have worked on some projects so far. I have always tried to do my best, have a good impact on companies grows as an R&D.

I recently received a letter from the CEO regarding my notable contribution to company's performance and a monetary award. This email is sent by HR, on behalf of the CEO.

I was wondering if you could pls tell me how can I respond to this email in a perfect way? Or should I respond to this or not?

  • 1
    what are your concerns? Mar 13, 2020 at 4:30
  • Was this individually sent out to you, or did everyone in the company get it? Mar 13, 2020 at 4:53
  • 1
    this was individually sent out to me, I do not know about others
    – nikki
    Mar 13, 2020 at 5:18
  • 1
    Where are you? Local customs vary, so we need to know where you are to provide appropriate advice
    – HorusKol
    Mar 13, 2020 at 6:19
  • HorusKol, Canada
    – nikki
    Mar 13, 2020 at 6:27

2 Answers 2


I have received many awards in my life, including from the CEO of a large (for Canada) organization I have worked for as an intern. I am also Canadian. How I have replied was heavily driven by the culture of the organization and the nature of the award.

  1. Absolutely respond. This is absolutely something you should respond to as it was directed at you.

  2. Determine the significance of the award. If they gave you a thank you note and a $25 gift card to Chapters, then just send a quick note back. If they sent out an all-hands email about you and wrote you a $2000 cheque, you will want to do something more substantial, maybe like a public LinkedIn post. This also depends on the scope of the organization. Having the CEO of Walmart praise you (out of millions of staff) is more amazing than the CEO of Joe's Used Cars and its 5 employees.

  3. Determine the expected publicity of the award and the timing of that. I have been praised and given a prize and then promptly asked to keep it quiet to avoid causing discontent. In some organizations, it is problematic to have one person rise above others. This depends on your corporate culture. If in doubt, ask. If it is a substantial award that can be publicized, you ideally make a post on LinkedIn and tag the CEO in question (I hate doing this as it feels kind of sleazy, but it is a good way to show appreciation).

  4. Determine the formality of your company. I worked at a bank and I have worked at startups. The startup CEOs are often around my age. The bank CEO was in his 70s at the time. There is a tremendous difference in how you interact with such people. With the startup, I might just send a Facebook message. With the bank CEO, one writes a formal email or sends a card through the internal mail system.

Things to always do in an award thank you message:

  • State your appreciation. "Thank you" is usually insufficient/feels canned.
  • Thank someone else for mentoring/providing resources/supporting, etc, even if in abstract.
  • Mention the emotional impact on you. Maybe the money covers a semester of tuition. Or if it is the gift card, maybe you have a (workplace appropriate) book in mind.
  • Thank whoever brought your achievements to their attention.

Gratitude, share the credit. Something like this.

Dear CEO:

Thanks for the award and your kind note. As a student and intern, it means a lot to me to know my work is helping Company.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to work at Company. I'm learning a lot from the people in Department, especially Supervisor, Senior colleague, and Other colleague.

Sincerely, programmer.

Use names, lots of names. Greet the CEO by name. Mention the company name twice if you can do it without awkward wording. Mention the department name and some names of people you work with. Keep it short and sweet. Handwritten is always best for this sort of thank-you note.

By the way, congratulations!

  • 1
    To clarify, replace "CEO" with CEO's title and last name . "Dear Mr. Jones.." Err on the side of formality. Even if everyone in the org is on a first name basis, you are a student. .
    – Damila
    Mar 13, 2020 at 20:01
  • @O. Jones, thank you very much.
    – nikki
    Mar 14, 2020 at 23:09

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