Advice

2024 new-grad gift guide — the industry edition

Inayah Entzminger
May 24, 2024

Every December, ASBMB Today releases an annual gift guide of science-related jewelry, toys and apparel for the science lovers in your life. But chances are you know someone graduating with a degree in the sciences this month, and you might want to celebrate their graduation with a small gift. 

As the industry careers columnist for ASBMB Today, I want to focus on those young scientists who are transitioning from their academic path to a new career. When I think about this transition, I think about a lot of change — coworkers, salaries and sometimes unfamiliar locations. Newly employed scientists might not have a lot of desk space at their new offices for science-based trinkets and items. 

Instead, consider giving them the gift of training and knowledge. Here are some non-physical things you can fund for the new graduate in your life. 

An ASBMB membership 

Becoming a member of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology comes with a ton of perks. Not only do you get to network with biochemists and molecular biologists of all stages in their careers at the ASBMB annual meeting, you also gain access to live and on-demand webinars and lectures focused on topics such as career development and science communication. The ASBMB also has its own job board where members can post open positions at small and large companies. 

If the graduate you know is immediately entering science industry, their membership fee with be $160/year, which could be a steep ask for someone who’s been on a graduate student salary. 

LinkedIn Premium

LinkedIn advertises itself as not only a network of professionals but also a site to gain skills and knowledge relevant to your career. A premium account, costing $39.99/month, offers information on company hiring trends, messaging options to people you are not connected with and over 21,000 LinkedIn Learning courses. Having this level of LinkedIn access for even one month may help the recent grad you know get a boost in their job search. 

Career coaching and resume writing 

The ASBMB has a list of career coaches it recommends for assisting young scientists. The coaches are not affiliated with the society, and they set their own prices. Their services could help a recent grad with no job experience stand out as an applicant. 

Funds for relocation, vacation and miscellaneous 

While some people think it’s uncouth or rude to give money as a gift, I usually appreciate the freedom to fund an event or vacation with gift money from friends and family. 

If your new grad needs to move for their new job, wants to take a short vacation between graduation and starting their career, or simply needs money for odds and ends after graduation, I think some funds added to their accounts would be a thoughtful — and appreciated — gift.

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Inayah Entzminger

Inayah Entzminger is a doctoral candidate at the The Graduate Center, CUNY, in the department of biochemistry. Their research focuses on viral translation initiation mechanisms. 

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