At the Etiquette Dinner, students learned how to properly dine. The skills they learned will serve them well in the professional world when eating in front of a potential employer.
The Student Involvement and Employment Office’s employment recognition coordinator Rika Calvin coordinated the dinner. Calvin said knowledge of etiquette could benefit everyone entering the professional world.
“There are a multitude of situations where you will have to eat in from of your boss or potential boss,” said Amanda Thielen, the volunteer and employment coordinator for SIEO.
Thielen assisted Calvin with coordinating the dinner. Thielen said the dinner taught students basic etiquette and notices common pitfalls people fall into.
“I have always struggled with knowing what fork to use and what drinks are proper to order,” Calvin said.
Dan Dieterich was a speaker at the Etiquette Dinner and said people can damage professional relationships.
“Too often people unintentionally and unknowingly harm those relationships by behaving in ways that others consider to be disrespectful or unmannerly,” Dieterich said.
“One of the biggest questions is what to order when the company or boss is paying at a restaurant,” Thielen said.
Thielen said a solution is see what the boss is ordering and purchase something similar in price.
Thielen said the purpose of professional dinners differs from informal dinners because professional dinners are meant for networking, whereas informal dinners are meant for eating.
“The focus is on talking and not shoveling food in your mouth,” Thielen said.
Dieterich shared a story where etiquette would have saved people from a faux pas. He said a few years ago he was conducting an etiquette dinner and students were served fried chicken.
“When I walked around the dining room, I noticed that, while they had eaten their vegetables and rolls, none of them had touched their chicken,” Dieterich said.
Dieterich said the students did not know how to properly eat the chicken so they decided not to eat it at all.
“I hope that I can help attendees at this year’s etiquette dinner to avoid those sorts of uncomfortable situations,” Dieterich said.
Calvin and Thielen think the students were quite mannerly, but there is always room for improvement.
“Some people have it down pact, but they just have bits and pieces missing,” Calvin said.