Get your elbows off the table: Centre's Etiquette Dinner
April 29, 2010 By Cindy Long
the Evans-Lively Room of Old Carnegie.
During the four-course meal, Terri Thompson, owner of Etiquette
in Action and business and social etiquette consultant, presented
tips on both dining and business etiquette.
Students will spend countless hours preparing resumes, honing interview skills, discussing proper attire and redrafting cover letters, all in an effort to bring their best game to the job-market table. But table manners in a business setting is often the furthest thing from their minds. That’s where Centre’s career services office came to the rescue with the annual Etiquette Dinner held on Thursday, April 22.
“I’ve been holding the Etiquette Dinner since 2001,” says Joy Asher, associate director of career services. “I put this event together because I know that employers often take candidates they’re seriously considering hiring out to lunch or dinner as part of the interview process, and I knew that lessons on dining and business etiquette could be invaluable to our students. This often overlooked detail could really give them an edge in the interview process.”
Isaac Coffey, a senior from Mt. Vernon, Ky., attended the event.
“The dinner enabled us to present ourselves professionally in any environment,” he says. “It gave us the basic tools to represent our worth, while networking or interviewing to the fullest.”
This year’s speaker was Terri Thompson, business and social etiquette consultant and owner of Etiquette in Action. According to the Etiquette in Action Web site, “Knowing the right person or having the right degree is not enough. [This training] helps to develop professional poise, confident communication skills and personal polish.”
At the event, Thompson covered both dining and business etiquette. She discussed proper etiquette while students ate a formal four-course meal and answered students’ questions throughout. While learning the fine points of forks, they dined on oven-roasted turkey breast, roasted sweet potatoes, haricot verts and apple caramel cheesecake.
Helena Josic, a senior from Dallas, found the experience enlightening.
“I think it’ll mainly instill confidence in us that we have some sense of knowing what we’re doing going into a business dinner setting,” she says. “We may not remember every detail or execute it perfectly, but having some preparation might comfort us in at least that aspect of the interview.”
The event was attended by an equal number of men and women and, while soon-to-be-graduating seniors made up the bulk of the attendees, every class year was represented. According to Asher, even a prospective student joined the group!