By Ronald Hanaki
On March 22, ESU’s Career Development Center hosted an evening where they explained the rules of dining etiquette to a select group of ESU students inside Lower Dansbury Commons.
Daria Wielebinski, director of ESU’s Career Development, and Jennifer Haydt, Talent Acquisitions Manager from Enterprise Car Rental, were the two main presenters.
In addition to the two primary hosts, a table host was seated at each dining table to help students learn the rules of proper dining etiquette.
Wielebinski began by asking, “Who would like to tell me why dining etiquette is important?”
She then defined dining etiquette as “a set of rules that govern the expectations of social and dining behavior in a workplace, group or society.”
Wielebinski explained that when a potential employer takes a job applicant out to lunch or dinner, it really is like a job interview.
“Manners matter because it accounts for first impressions,” said Wielebinski. “Employers are evaluating your social skills, so table manners do matter.”
“By attending our Etiquette Dinner, you are putting yourself one step ahead of other ESU students in the race to get a job,” affirmed Wielebinski.
Wielebinski and Haydt then took turns offering students dining tips.
At the end of the meal, all students who participated received a USB flash drive preloaded with etiquette information to help them navigate the competitive job searching experience.
Maryellen Mross, interim associate dean of the College of Education, was one of the table hosts.
She said, “This evening was a nonthreatening way to learn about etiquette and social interaction because we were all here together as a learning experience.”
“Dining etiquette is an extra social skill that can enable you to obtain a position—or perhaps not obtain a position—because they see that you are polished and know how to interact correctly with people,” said Mross.
“That can spill over into a social situation, so knowing good dining etiquette can be very helpful,” she added.
“I would recommend the etiquette dinner for everybody,” said Mross. “Moreover, Career Services sponsors great activities for students to learn, and more students should take advantage of it.”
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