College of Business & Economics hosts 13th annual Etiquette Dinner and Seminar
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Updated: Thursday, February 23, 2012 00:02
Which fork should be used for salad? When should you put your napkin in your lap? On which side of the plate do your water glass and bread dish belong?
These questions and more were answered at the Lakeview Resort Thursday evening as part of the 13th annual Etiquette Dinner and Seminar presented by the West Virginia University College of Business & Economics Center for Career Development.
The seminar created an environment in which students could learn how to present themselves when trying to impress a future interviewer or business client.
"Ninety percent of business deals are made over the dinner table," said Susan Robison, assistant director of the CCD. "Employers judge you based on manners, presentation and how you would present yourself to their client."
Jose Sartarelli, dean of the College of Business & Economics, stressed the importance of both proper behavior and attire when it comes to business events.
"It's not just the words that you say, but the way you look," Sartarelli said. "You can walk in a room wearing a $800 suit, but if the behavior isn't right, so what?"
Students in attendance were able to learn and practice proper etiquette while dining with employers from companies including Mylan Pharmaceuticals and United Bank.
Image consultant Susan Lawrence also attended the event to answer questions students may have about proper professional attire and give them the confidence they need to succeed in the real world.
"It's like driving a car. You can watch all the videos on how to drive a car that you want, but until you practice, you are not going to learn," Lawrence said. "What I want is for people to be able to say, ‘I'm a Mountaineer, and I'm doing it right.'"
Felicia Jankowski, a senior accounting and finance student, said she will take what she learned at the event with her after graduation.
"In the future, it will be useful in employment and working with clients," Jankowski said.
Jason Gaspar, a junior business management student, said it was a great opportunity to help young adults avoid any common mistakes when entering the work force.
"It's a chance to learn how to talk to people, eat right and not make a fool of yourself," he said.