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Yael RS Admit1MBAGuest post from Yael Redelman-Sidi, the founder of Admit1MBA, a truly personal Admission Consulting services. Her favorite gifts this holiday season: chocolates and a one-way ticket to Paris (or Rio).

Your colleague, best friend, daughter/son, or spouse is going to go all in and try to get into a top MBA program this year. Here’s how you can give him or her something that will be helpful . . .

1. A membership to the gym

MBA Gift Ideas

Or some new gear to use in their yoga, Pilates or tennis classes. Exercise is a great way to help them stay positive and not go crazy with all the additional work.


2. A great book about writing

MBA and GMAT Prep

Business school requires applicants to write essays about their life and career. Nothing gives a worse impression that a loosely-written essay. Why not get them a copy of The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White? It’s a tiny book but it could help.


3. An hour of MBA Essay or Resume Editing

Business School Students

Even the best writers need editors. Give them the gift they might be too shy (or cheap) to buy themselves — an hour with an experienced admissions consultant who will give them objective and helpful feedback.


4. A list of things you like about them

Business School Confidence

A common MBA interview and essay question is one about the applicant’s personality, strengths and weaknesses. Write them a letter that talks about all the great things you’ve see them do, their achievements (personal or professional). This can only boost their confidence and will hopefully give them a few new ideas on how to answer those questions.


5. Your support (doesn’t cost a thing!)

MBA Support

Applying to business school is as stressful as applying to college (if not more so); it’s a very competitive process — from exam-taking to writing touch-feely essays about yourself to passing grueling interviews. Be there to help them.


6. An ugly sweater


Because you can never have enough.


7. A magazine subscription

MBA Reading

Is your friend an aspiring entrepreneur? Sports manager? Finance mogul? Help them prepare for their career transition during grad school and learn the lingo. Get the WSJ for the wanna-be banker, Fast Company for an aspiring entrepreneur, and Women’s Wear Daily for the future fashionista, retail executive or merchandising manager.


Read more MBA-related articles at Yael’s Admit1MBA Admissions blog, connect with her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.