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Gift Ideas for Graduates
Man in graduation cap holding diploma and kissing woman's head
Photo by Ronny Sison Unsplash 

Graduation season is rapidly approaching - and this season is a time of JOY!  Whether a bachelor's degree, master's degree, law degree, professional degree, or Ph.D., the work and time it took accomplish the goal and reach this milestone is worth celebrating. 

 So, what to get the graduate-to-be? ArcVida has created a list of some of the top-wanted items and some other top-valued items.


Fancy New Desk Additions

Whether heading to the next stage of higher education, starting a new job, or just planning the next phase of his or her career, new office items are welcomed.

  • For late nights or for those on Zoom to be able to see, a computer light works great. Adding professional lighting is sure to make your grad look like a movie star (or just, bright).
  • Desk plants are big right now. Plants are known to improve productivity and satisfaction while also increasing the humidity around a desk. Not to mention, they’re super cute.
  • Yes, we can call roommates and children ‘coworkers.’ They’re chatting all day so it makes sense to quiet their chatter at some point: noise-canceling headphones are perfect to make sure your graduate doesn’t miss a minute of his or her meeting, as much as they’d like to.
  • Do you have a writer on your hands? An ergonomic keyboard and mouse make sure they won’t hold their hands and wrists at an uncomfortable angle and stay comfortable 24/7.
  • Maybe your grad is old school and needs to write it down. Great pens are the ultimate ‘adult’ purchase, plus breaking one out during the interview is sure to impress the hiring manager.
  • And to be sure they never miss a meeting - a digital planner. They can move swiftly from their desk to the laptop and then back to their smartphone with ease.

Offerings for Personal and Career Growth

Sometimes you might feel like you don’t have enough money to go around, but that shouldn’t deter you from giving a great gift.   Giving a gift from the heart shows your graduate how much they mean to you.

  • Offer your services before he or she has a big interview or meeting. Encouragement, like a pep talk before a day of professional conversations, can make all the difference. It’s not just giving advice but also reminding them of how great they are and their past accomplishments.
  • Exploring a new take on how to sell salt to a slug, “To Sell is Human” by Daniel H. Pink discusses the art and science of selling. You don’t have to be in sales to gain insights into how to persuade others to believe in another’s perspective.
  • After hearing the type of work your graduate is aiming for, filter through your network together and find 2-5 people they should meet. Create introductions by emailing their prospects a note asking each for a 20-minute conversation with the graduating jobseeker.
  • Focusing on their careers and also their future. “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi investigates the ways that a positive state of creativity, performance and happiness can be supported, not just accidental, with an approach that greatly improves lives.

Best Gifts for Starting a New Career

You know that it’s not just going to be a simple gift to them. This is a gift that’s part of jump-starting the rest of their careers, as well as the rest of their lives. Get your graduate a priceless gift to tackle the world of work. 

  • Nothing says ‘new me’ like a new headshot. Starting a brand or just showing employers how professional a newly graduated candidate might be, takes out the guesswork with a professional headshot.
  • As some of us are still social distancing, it may feel like we’re speaking into the void. A bit of appreciation goes a long way - ask about their hobbies, sports, friends and activities. By expressing interest in how they are enjoying their days, you can explore common values and interests.
  • The job market can look robust or bleak, depending on how competitive the field is. A letter of encouragement is sure to boost anyone’s spirit and motivate them to take the next step, no matter how worried they might be.
  • Help your grad get noticed. If they've worked for you,  writing a short-but-sweet LinkedIn recommendation is perfect. And it may not cost a lot but it’s sure to be something they didn’t know they needed.


A Little Cash Is Always Welcome

But there are some gifts you just can’t give. ArcVida is ready to help your graduate-to-be enter the workforce head-on. ArcVida's programs are designed to help find the best fit for anyone’s career trajectory.  We start with a conversation (with the graduate!) to learn about their goals and needs and set a strategy for how to start. After an initial call, we’ll be able to recommend a program that will best suit your career goals!

Refer Someone to ArcVida


More reading:

How ArcVida's Career Transition Programs Are Different, and Why They're Better.

Use this Action Plan if You're Graduating This Spring

Published on 4/27/2022