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After years of studying and hard work, your MBA graduate student deserves a graduation party, or at least an amazing gift.
We researched dozens of brands evaluating price, sentimentality, and usefulness. Our top picks include an inspirational memoir on Amazon, a cozy Parachute robe anyone will want to snuggle up in, and more.
Here are the best gifts for MBA graduates.
Amazon Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
If a business school student wants to hear firsthand how to grow a company from $50 to $30 million, then this is the manual. This memoir, written by Phil Knight, the founder and CEO of Nike, details how he turned the idea of importing high-quality, low-cost athletic shoes from Japan into one of the world’s most iconic companies. Of course, as with any business, there are hiccups along the way — and the book doesn’t shy away from them. It teaches the reader lessons about how to deal with cash-poor periods, put people in the right jobs, and have fun while growing a business.
Parachute Classic Bathrobe
Pretty much every hard-working adult can appreciate something cozy to slip into after a long day. Parachute bathrobes are known for their spa-like feel thanks to the 100 percent Turkish cotton. The deep pockets, high shawl collar, and long design are great for a chilly night or a lazy weekend when they want to lounge around the house.
Artifact Uprising Hardcover Photo Book
Of course, we're in a digital world and most of us snap photos on our phones and never actually print them out. But Artifact Uprising's book is the perfect way to combine the joy of technology with the classic photo album feel. Simply upload your favorite images (up to 350 pics!) and choose the book size, partial or full jacket, and fabric cover. This personalized gift is sure to make anyone smile and provide a solution for storing or viewing old photographs.
Chic Geeks Python MacBook Case
Laptops are pretty expensive and most likely a gadget your grad uses every single day. Help them protect their gear and keep the laptop clean with a Chic Geeks case. The python print cover, which is vegan-friendly, is fashionable and functional. It snaps on easily, protecting the exterior, and provides access to all ports.
Blue Apron Subscription Box
Ordering takeout is pretty convenient, but for the person who still wants a home-cooked meal with ease, a Blue Apron subscription can do the trick. The recipient can select a menu based on their dietary needs and the ingredients are perfectly portioned, separated, and shipped to their door. For those low on time, they'll really appreciate the easy one-pan dinners.
MZOO Sleep Eye Mask
Your grad is probably no stranger to long, sleepless nights. But now that they've earned that degree, help them get a restful night's sleep with a mask that blocks out light from all angles. Unlike some sleep masks that can feel a bit uncomfortable, this one contours around the eyes and has a snug fit without being too tight. The back has an adjustable strap and it even comes with earplugs and a travel pouch.
Pasolivo Virtual Tasting
Here's a perfect option for someone who wants to unwind at home while still enjoying the virtual company of others. Pasolivo's virtual olive oil tastings are fun for family or a group of friends. Schedule a tasting, which includes up to two hours with an expert, and sample olive oils, vinegars, and a few spices. This is a welcome activity for foodies or those looking to expand their knowledge of all things olive oil.
Maptote Grocery Tote
A tote bag might seem like a pretty simple gift, which it is, but it's also highly functional and a great, reusable grocery bag compared to using tons of plastic bags. Maptote's design features maps of different major cities and countries, so this is really perfect for anyone who needs a piece of home or a reminder of their favorite city. The bag is 100 percent cotton and has a 21-inch handle for comfortable carrying.
Uncommon Goods Wishing Ball
This hand-blown glass is a sweet reminder to remain grateful. The ball is small, just less than four inches in diameter, but it can hold 52 folded pieces of paper which are included in the set. The intention is to write down what you're grateful for each week. This can be a nice, yet easy activity for a busy person to take a pause and truly reflect.
Uncommon Goods Fix-It Kit
Is your graduate moving into a new place or their first home? Then get them started with this Fix-It household tool kit. Tool boxes can take up a lot of space, but this compact, vegan leather case houses the essentials. It measures less than seven inches long, but has a hammer, pliers, flashlight, tape measure, and a screw driver with four sockets and 10 bits. The case is available in black or pink and is sure to come in handy.
OHOM Kopi Mug & Warmer Set
Everyone knows the person who has to reheat their coffee in the microwave several times before finally having a chance to consume it. Here's a cool mug that does all the work. Well, it's not just the mug, but the accompanying charger. Just sit the mug on top and the charger keeps beverages at 135 degrees. And the base even doubles as a wireless cellphone charger. Choose from colors like spring nectar, yellow, and turquoise.
Clever Fox Planner
Some people still love jotting things down, whether that's a to-do list or professional goals. The Clever Fox personal planner comes in a range of colors (black, lavender, sky blue, and more) and the undated pages mean it can be started any time of the year. The weekly pages include space to map out goals, priorities, and there's even a habit tracker. There are also sections to break down larger, yearly goals and even draw a vision board.
Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular)
The Apple Watch Series 3 boasts some amazing features. It’s faster than previous generations — by about 70% — which means that apps launch quickly and the graphics are smoother. Students can use apps like the heart rate monitor and custom high-intensity interval training to stay up to date on their wellness goals. And it's easy to take calls or respond to messages while on the go.
Paksh Novelty 7-Piece Italian Crafted Glass Decanter & Whisky Glasses Set
Give your grad's next office or home bar some vintage vibes with this beautiful Italian barware set. It includes an elegant decanter and six sparkling whiskey glasses. All the pieces are distinctive with diamond detailing and starburst cuts throughout the glass. The decanter holds 33.75 ounces of liquor and comes with an ornate stopper. For added convenience, the set is dishwasher-safe.
Mark & Graham Nomad Rugged Case for Airpods
Mark & Graham has some of the best monogrammed leather products and their AirPod case is no different. Personalize this gift by selecting from six different fonts to have the recipient's initials laser engraved on the case that fits AirPods or AirPods Pro. Also, the case is designed so it's easy to see the LED-charging light.
Iconic Passion Masters Degree Mug
This "Trust Me, I Have a Master's Degree" mug is a fun way for any proud graduate to highlight their achievement. It can be placed on a desk as a pencil holder or used in a functional way to sip daily coffee or tea. The ceramic mug comes in 11 or 15 ounces and is dishwasher and microwave safe.
Harlem Candle Company Vintage Night Club Map Candle
Hardcore music, history, or candle lovers will absolutely adore this candle that pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance. The map design on the exterior highlights the musicians and speakeasies that the era was famous for. Besides being beautifully designed, the candle, which burns for up to 80 hours, has notes of bergamot, cinnamon, patchouli, and amber.
What to Look for in a MBA Graduate Gift
A practical present is always a great idea, but especially so for the student who's spent years studying. A cozy robe, subscription box, or sleep mask will all come in handy and be put to good use.
There's a high likelihood your graduate has the essentials like a laptop or tablet, but don't overlook tech accessories. This can include a stylish laptop cover, quality earbuds, or even a fitness tracker.
Show your grad how proud you are of them with an aww-worthy gift like a custom photo album with their favorite pics or a beautifully scented and designed candle that reminds them of home. Etsy and Uncommon Goods are full of gift options that can be personalized.
What do MBA graduates need?
Your graduate's needs can include practical gifts like a meal delivery kit, home decor, or a tech accessory. You might also gift them an item that pertains to their future career goals, like an inspirational book or even membership to a professional organization. Every graduate's needs will vary, so it's always best to ask.
How much should you spend on a graduation gift?
The amount you spend on a gift can vary based on your budget, but also the level of graduation. For a graduate level degree, $100 is more than enough for a great gift. However, some thoughtful, useful gifts can even cost much less.
Is it okay to give a graduate a gift card?
Gift cards used to be viewed as a last minute, thoughtless gift, but that's no longer the case. If you know a graduate likes a specific brand or retailer, it's absolutely acceptable to give them a gift card they can spend on a specific item.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This roundup was written by Patrice J. Williams. She has contributed gift guides to The Spruce since 2020. For this guide, she researched gifts that range in price but are top-rated and from well-respected brands, including a few of her favorites like Chic Geeks and Clever Fox. In addition to her work for The Spruce, she writes commerce articles, including product suggestions and reviews, for other outlets as well as appearing on air for The Today Show, WEtv, and she was the Savvy Shopper reporter for WPIX in New York City.