Master's of business administration--or MBA--graduates are often older than the traditional college graduate; in fact, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School reports the average age of its executive MBA student is 34. As such, a party in honor of this achievement should reflect the person's age and interests. An MBA graduate who works full time might not be up for the wild party that a college student would enjoy, but there are plenty of celebration ideas.
Gather the family and close friends of the graduate in your home, and honor her achievement with an elegant dinner party. Create a menu that the graduate will enjoy—anything from stuffed chicken breasts with red potatoes and vegetables to ribs, potato salad and corn on the cob will do. Seat guests at banquet tables; preferably, your dining room table if everyone will fit. Set a sophisticated tone with white linens and floral centerpieces mixed with framed photos of the graduate at a variety of ages. In particular, try to find photos of the new MBA from past graduations. This kind of party is appropriate for the older graduate who may appreciate a more mature celebration than her undergraduate one.
'Stock the Office' Party
With his MBA in hand, the graduate will likely embark on—or continue—his professional career. Celebrate his achievement and look ahead to his future by throwing a "Stock the Office" graduation party. Since tradition directs guests to bring gifts to graduation parties, this theme focuses their attention on buying items the graduate can use around the office. Portfolios, business card holders and office supplies are on-theme gifts for this graduation party. You can carry the office theme throughout the event, even down to the decorations. An arrangement including a briefcase with papers and pens spilling out of it will make an inspired centerpiece, and one the graduate can take home when the party ends.
Casual Home Celebration
A casual home celebration allows the MBA graduate to focus on the most important things in her life—her family and friends. Decorate your home in the graduate’s school colors—for example, if she earned her MBA at the University of Minnesota, use a maroon and gold color scheme. Use linens and plastic dinnerware in the school colors. For a spirited look, hang school pennants from the ceiling; see if you can find ones specifically for the school's College of Business. Set up an hors d’oeuvres buffet for guests to enjoy, featuring casual finger foods like chicken salad on croissants, chicken wings and deviled eggs.