When you have loved ones graduating from business school, about to start an MBA program, or currently in an MBA program, thoughtful gifts can brighten their day. For incoming and current students, these degree programs can be challenging and stressful, especially with upcoming exams or major projects to work on. For graduating students, the stress of school is over, but they’re now facing the challenge of finding a job or pursuing a promotion.
Surprising MBA students or grads with a gift can help ease stress and add joy to their lives. Keep the following ideas in mind for the best gifts to give MBA grads or students in your life.
Types of Gifts for Students and Grads
The kind of gift you give can have a different effect. While some gifts are more practical, others are offered for emotional reasons. When you’re coming up with possible ideas, consider what type of gift you want to give.
Practical. Practical gifts serve a useful purpose in an MBA grad or student’s life. The recipient can use this gift as needed for school, work, or other purposes. What kinds of practical gifts might MBA students or graduates need? Tech gifts can make great practical presents. For example, you might buy a smartwatch that makes it easy for them to keep track of time and handle other tasks when they’re busy. Business items, such as business cards for a grad or notebooks for a student, can also make good practical gifts.
Sentimental. Sentimental gifts have an emotional impact on recipients. These gifts can be nostalgic or personalized, such as having their name or graduation date engraved on an item. These gifts can provide MBA students or grads with a keepsake they can look back on years after earning their degree. For example, you might purchase an engraved frame they can place a graduation photo in and keep in their office to remind them of their grad school days.
Rewarding. Rewarding gifts offer a way to congratulate MBA grads or students for their accomplishments. These gifts are a great way to remember how hard they’ve worked to achieve their goals. For grads, rewarding gifts can help them feel proud of working so hard to earn their degree. For incoming or current students, these rewards can be given to congratulate them on working toward their goal of being an MBA graduate. For example, you might take them out to dinner to celebrate an achievement, such as acing an exam or completing a group project.
Gifts for Incoming MBA Students
Incoming students might be feeling a lot of uncertainty or anxiety about starting an MBA program. They might not fully know what to expect, or they might be nervous about how much work they’ll have to do or how difficult exams might be. The kinds of gifts to give incoming MBA students should help make it easier for them to focus on their studies or provide them with ways to relax after a hard day of studying. The following are some suggestions for gifts for incoming and current MBA students.
Coffee Maker. While some MBA students work full time and attend school part-time, others go to school full time and might have a part-time job on the side. In either case, juggling school, work, and other tasks and responsibilities requires a lot of energy. A coffee maker provides an easy way for MBA students to stay alert when they need to study for an upcoming exam, go over class notes, work on an assignment, or tackle a group project.
Meal Planning Box/Kit. MBA students can be so busy that it’s hard to find time to make meals at home. Giving these students a meal planning box or kit can make it much more convenient to eat whole, healthy meals instead of turning to junk food or other unhealthy foods. Consider signing an MBA student in your life up for a meal planning box or kit subscription. This provides them easy to prepare healthy meals on a regular basis.
Study Materials. Giving study materials as gifts can make studying a bit easier for incoming or current MBA students. These might include a pair of noise-canceling or wireless headphones to block sound so they can study without distraction. Other ideas to consider include a day planner to help them stay organized, a calendar they can hang on their wall to keep track of important school dates, such as assignment deadlines or test dates, or a smart notebook that helps them organize notes.
Streaming Subscription. MBA students tend to spend a lot of time studying and handling other school tasks, so it’s essential for them to be able to relax. A streaming subscription can provide them with movies or TV shows to watch in their downtime. This can get their mind off school for a while, which can help prevent them from becoming stressed or burned out. Try to get an idea of what kinds of shows or movies they enjoy so you can choose the right streaming service.
Books. Books can make ideal gifts for MBA students who love to read. Giving these students books they’ve wanted to read or other books you think they’ll enjoy is another good way to help them unwind after a long day. Find out what books they usually read or which authors they like, and surprise them with one or more books to read at their leisure. You might also consider giving them books that might help them with school or their career, such as books on achieving their goals.
MBA Graduation Presents
MBA graduates have come a long way since their first semester. Celebrating their achievements or providing practical gifts for their job search can help them feel motivated and encouraged to thrive in their career. The following are some ideas to consider giving the MBA grad in your life.
Business Cards. Business cards can effectively make a good impression on prospective employers or attract new clients or customers as entrepreneurs. Although you can give a set of business cards as a gift, remember that it can be hard to know what kind of design the recipient wants. Instead, consider giving them a gift card that they can use to order their own business cards. This allows them to have these cards designed the way they want.
New Outfit or Wardrobe. MBA graduates must dress for success when they go on job interviews and start working in a new position. While you don’t need to fill up their closet, giving them a new outfit can be a thoughtful way to help them get started on building a new wardrobe. Choose an outfit the MBA grad in your life might wear to an interview or the office if they’re starting a new job. If you’re unsure about their fashion preferences, give them a gift card to their favorite store.
Watch. A new watch can be a practical and sentimental gift for MBA graduates. A smartwatch offers a practical and highly convenient way to keep track of time, set reminders, check messages, and take care of other tasks. A stylish or high-end wristwatch can make a sentimental gift that the recipient can wear to the office day after day.
Briefcase or Work Bag. A work bag or briefcase offers a handy way to keep documents and other items organized and available when needed. MBA graduates might benefit from having a briefcase if they attend important meetings or meet new clients. A work bag can be a great gift if they need more of a regular bag to carry items in on an everyday basis rather than a briefcase.
Fancy Meal. Gifts for MBA graduates don’t have to be tangible presents. You might consider taking them out for a fancy meal at an upscale restaurant to celebrate graduation or a new job. Choose a restaurant they love or one they’ve wanted to try but haven’t had a chance to yet. This kind of gift can help take their mind off job hunting or work while showing how proud you are of them.If you’re considering earning your MBA to advance your career, please contact the Gary W. Rollins College of Business at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for more information. You can choose between a fully online MBA program or a flexible one with in-person and online classes.