Learn your manners at the etiquette dinner

By Grant Morgan, Editor-in-Chief

If you were invited to dinner with potential employers, a significant other’s parents, a group of strangers, or any other person whom you’re unfamiliar with – would you know how to act?

Next Wednesday, Nov. 2 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom, UA’s Career Services is holding an etiquette dinner to help you find out.

Along with the more than 150 students expected to attend will be various employers – from ArcelorMittal, Cintas Corporation, Goodyear, Huntington National Bank, InfoCision, National Interstate Insurance, and the U.S. Army and Army Reserves – with whom students can network and practice the skills they learn that night.  

The evening will consist of a pre-dinner mock-cocktail hour with light appetizers and music (soft jazz played live by UA music student Cedric Talbert). On a screen will be a silent slide presentation with networking and conversation tips, which students can use on the spot.

After this networking opportunity, everyone will move to the adjacent ballroom for a formal dinner. Students can choose which tables to sit at, as employer tables will be marked with company names.

Before dinner Career Services staff will give a presentation on basic table manners, which will continue once dinner is served to include business meal etiquette, ordering etiquette, professional correspondence (email, phone, voicemail) etiquette, and tips for using social media.

At the end of the dinner will be a style show, where members of UA’s Greek Honorary Societies will model different forms of business attire.

Though UA’s Career Services has been holding etiquette dinners for more than 10 years, it has only been doing them in the style of next week’s event for three. According to Laura Carey, director of Career Services, around 150 to 175 students usually register for the event, which is held once per semester.

“I’m surprised at the number of students interested in learning good table manners,” Carey said. “Learning proper meal etiquette is not a common practice anymore and the etiquette dinner gives students the ability to refresh their memory on how and when to eat.”

Students will have the chance to get professional headshots taken at the event’s photo booth, for use on social media sites such as LinkedIn. Each student will also get a “Business Dinner Reference Guide,” as well as a packet of UA note cards with which to start practicing their professional correspondence.

The dinner costs $5, and students must register by tomorrow, Oct. 28 on uakron.edu/career/.