Graduating from a business school is a big personal and professional achievement. Also, it can become a significant milestone in the relationship between an employee and a business. That’s especially true if a company sent him or her to the class. Graduation ceremonies this year all over the world are being done online. It became a big concern both for graduates and for their colleagues. How to make the event memorable? What are appropriate gift ideas for recent business school graduates in a corporate setting and under the current unique circumstances? Why is it best to celebrate the achievement together? Let’s discuss!
Just recently, upon submitting my final project on intercultural dynamics for an executive program I was taking from the University of Toronto’s school of management, I received a message from the program’s assistant. It was to inform me that our graduation ceremony is postponed “until further notice”. Chances are high it will happen online instead of in person.
That made me thinking about my expectations. What kind of experience had I hoped or expected to get from that? Probably, to get together with my class once again, to immerse into the atmosphere of celebration and accomplished achievement, and maybe to have some fun on top of that. Online event limits these possibilities drastically.
My situation is not unique. Universities, colleges, and business schools around the world are taking all of their operations, including graduation ceremonies, online. Graduates are missing an opportunity to get that wonderful experience. But on the other hand, their employers, colleagues, and friends, still can help to make the date of graduation a special occasion.
So, what exactly is acceptable? Let’s review some traditional and innovative gift ideas for recent business school graduates.
Traditional Gift Ideas For Recent Business School Graduates
Let’s start with memorable presents that are traditional to graduation ceremonies. Those include:
- – diploma with graduate’s photo, in a frame
- – books
- – decanter sets
- – desktop accessories, such as a globe or an ink pen set
In fact, that’s enough to spot a consistent pattern here. All these gift ideas are celebrating a personal achievement in different ways and hint at further growth.
But it’s also worth mentioning that you need to learn the graduate’s preferences when selecting such a gift. Ask yourself if you know enough about them. What kind of books do they prefer? Do they like alcohol? How much time do they spend at their desk to actually use or see the accessories? Do they even work at their desk or is their work related to international travel?
That will probably make your choice between those classic books, decanters, and globes with ink pen sets a little bit easier!
On a similar note, if you want to present a frame with photo for them to frame their diploma, do not add a photo of your choice, unless you know for sure that that’s the one that they would choose for themselves.
Why is it important to celebrate graduation?
Let’s stop here for a minute. Before we move on to online gift ideas for your employee or colleague’s graduation, let’s talk about the importance of celebrating a milestone.
From a psychological standpoint, there are three main aspects to the importance of celebrating an achievement: it emphasizes progress, helps build resilience, and enhances a “gratitude attitude”. All three are fundamental building blocks of growth mindset and levels of happiness.
According to social psychology researcher Fred Bryant and others, when we stop to savor the good stuff, we buffer ourselves against the bad and build resilience. At the same time, according to Harvard Business School’s professor Teresa Amabile’s progress principle, of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work. And last but not the least, according to a research by Dr. Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at the University of California (Davis) and the founding editor-in-chief of the Journal of Positive Psychology, life celebration is a way to develop an “attitude of gratitude” which is key to overall well-being.
All those findings are applicable to even minor life events, but graduation from business school is a huge step forward in one’s professional life and a very significant milestone. It’s clear that motivation and life enhancement that develops from celebrating it, can affect literally years and years in the future.
So, even in unprecedented times of challenge in the world, it is very important to celebrate such a great achievement. As a colleague or friend, you can help this happen for a graduate and become a part of their significant day.
Best gifts for online graduation
Alas, all the ideas that we mentioned above, are more relevant for an in-person event. Under current circumstances, especially when it comes to being under a lock-down in different locations, celebrating the graduation is moved online. So, let’s get inventive.
If a colleague or an employee who is graduating from a business school, is an avid reader and / or a self development geek, greet them with an online reading service subscription. Another idea is to send a certificate for an online learning program. By the way, have you heard about Gift Baskets Overseas’ new gift line that allows you to give a gift of master class access to your recipient? Try it out!
Even if you cannot meet in person on that significant day, you can help them celebrate! To do that, send a gourmet gift or a collection of great wine. In the photo above is a Discover Yvon Mau gift set with wine available for international delivery. No matter where in the world your colleague is located, you can send a party to them.
Now you are armed with some nice gift ideas for recent business school graduates. What’s next?
- – Find out more about corporate gift programs with Gift Baskets Overseas
- – Is your team working remotely? Find out some ideas on boosting motivation in our recent corporate blog
- – Follow us on LinkedIn for updates and promotions
Happy online graduation convocation to you and your team!
Director of Digital Marketing and Strategy for GiftBasketsOverseas passionate about all-things digital, travel, and wellness. Natasha covers some corporate topics and data analytics and research for the GiftBasketsOverseas blog.