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12 Smart MBA Graduation Gift Ideas (+What to Avoid)

Looking for the perfect gift idea for your newly minted MBA grad? We’ve researched over 300 ideas and identified 12 we feel stand above the rest.

This smart, sophisticated mid-century designer pen and pencil pair from Cross can be personalized for free with your graduate’s name in either script or block font. Set him or her out into the business world with the confidence these chrome writing utensils inspire. Cross pens come with a lifetime mechanical warranty. Packaged in a box that’s perfect for gifting.
Ray Dalio, founder of the legendary private equity firm Bridgewater Associates, has written a fantastic synthases of his experience in investing, economics, management and leadership. He distills these topics into core principles that can be applied to life, wherever it takes you. A great compass for a newly minted MBA. A #1 New York Times best seller.
Whether traveling to interviews or starting a consulting gig, your MBA grad will likely be logging a lot of airline miles. Help him or her hit the ground running with a quality roller bag. Featured here is Travelpro’s Platinum Elite, Wirecutter’s top pick in the category. It earns high marks for value for the money. Smooth rolling, replaceable wheels, and a lifetime warranty that will cover damage from airlines are among the many features that put it at the top of the pack.
A great read for an MBA grad fresh out of school, this classic collection of tech startup founder interviews is eye opening. From TripAdvisor to TiVo, get a candid, inside look at what it takes to launch a successful digital business – and learn some hard won lessons so you don’t have to repeat them. Even if you’re not going the startup route, the advice contained herein is applicable to anyone seeking productivity and value creation strategies for a company.
Looking for a way to show your support to a future change maker? Give her a little dose of daily confidence with this cute key chain with an affirmative message and little charms including a compass, graduation cap, and jewel. Comes in a cute box with a motivational card.
Gone are the days when a $5,000 Rolex is required gear for a serious business person. An Apple watch will not only distinguish your grad as tech-savvy, but will be a valued productivity tool — all at a much more reasonable price point. Built to last with an aluminum chassis, you’ll be ready to take on the world with this marvel of modern technology. Depending on the person, you might also consider a fitness tracker.
Get your new high flying life started with this great book of vacation ideas. Daydream about the lifestyle of a top executive – or start planning for that early retirement. Or maybe your grad wants to take a trip now while he or she still has a life! This book not only offers the inspiration, but tangible ideas to make the dream a reality.
Help your MBA recognize his or her achievement with a special diploma frame. Some options, such as the one pictured here, include space for a 5×7 graduation photo.
Now that your grad is out of school, it’s time to class things up. Consider this gift set of wine classes and cheese knives. Made from premium thin crystal, each glass in blown by hand without any seams. The glasses and knives, backed by a lifetime guarantee, come in a nice gift box.
Becoming Steve Jobs explains, rather than describes, his behavior in combining his passion and management styles to create one of the most recognizable and successful companies in the world. Anyone in management can learn from the story of the man who changed our world.
Noise cancelling headphones are a must have for frequent flyers and train riders. There’s nothing worse than distracting noise when you’re trying to concentrate on an important business plan – or just get some R&R. Bose headphones are on the pricier end, but we recommend them over others due to the superior sound cancelling technology and happy customers.
Start living like the future global corporate executive you are with this mahogany and glass decanter set. The decanter itself features a glass ship inside. Great for entertaining, it will be to focal point of any party.

What should you avoid giving an MBA graduate? We recommend steering clear of money or gift cards. Your MBA will be making plenty of it, so stick with something more meaningful.

You might also be interested in our gift ideas for law school or medical school graduates.