What Fork Do I Use? Business Etiquette Dinner and Reception

Friday, March 04, 2011

On March 1, the School of Business hosted the annual Business Etiquette Dinner and Reception at Muriale’s Italian Restaurant in Fairmont.  In today’s highly competitive business world, business isn’t just conducted within the confines of an office.  Proper etiquette skills are extremely important for our students who must know how to conduct themselves and represent their company at the dining table and in other social settings, whether entertaining or being entertained.

The goal of the Business Etiquette Dinner and Reception is to help students feel more confident in business networking receptions and formal dinner settings.  Confidence often increases as more knowledge is gained about what is appropriate or inappropriate etiquette in such situations.  An important point about etiquette is that the rules of behavior are often subtle.  If students learn these rules, then they can focus their attention more on getting to know their dinner companions and less on second-guessing their dining habits.  The negative effects of inappropriate attire, improper conversation, and poor social skills can cause students more than an embarrassment; it can cost them a potential job.

Dean Richard Harvey says, “This event has proven very popular with our students and sells out every year.  I think the students realize they need to practice and polish their social networking skills.  The business representatives always enjoy interacting with the students and someone comes away with an interview or job offer every year.”

The event begins with a “mocktail” reception followed by a seated multi-course meal.  As each course is served, participants will learn acceptable etiquette from Lyla Grandstaff, certified etiquette consultant, and owner of Elements of Etiquette.  “I was so excited when Dr. Harvey gave me a call and asked me to participate in this program. The best tip I can give is that etiquette isn’t about being perfect, it is just about being polite and professional.”

Also attending will be business representatives from the region, to engage and interact with the students.  This year the dinner was scheduled the night before the on-campus Job Fair to allow some of the recruiters to attend.

More information about the dinner may be found at http://www.fairmontstate.edu/schoolofbusiness/students/special-programs.

About the photo: Lyla Grandstaff '03 stresses the importance of proper napkin placement.