Career Center hosts etiquette dinner for students

By Maddie Forshee | 2/16/14 6:59pm

Figuring out which fork to use, how to butter a dinner roll or even whose hand to shake and when can be tricky skills to pick up on. For that reason, the Grand Valley State University Career Center is hosting an etiquette dinner Feb. 19 for all students to learn the ins-and-outs of etiquette for those important meals at conferences or business dinners.

The dinner will not only offer students the opportunity to learn what fork to use, which glass is theirs, and the difference between Continental and American dining style, but it will also teach the history behind etiquette and general mannerisms and will help them practice networking skills.

“All of these skills will be essential as a student begins looking for internships or jobs,” said Elizabeth Clark, a graduate assistant at the Career Center. “The skills you gain from the dinner are more related around dinner settings but are transferrable to any setting where etiquette would be handy.”

The dinner starts with check-in, followed by a short orientation. Once dinner starts, attendees will get tips for job interviews, business lunches or dinners and general practices that will prove to be useful to students in the future.

“The dinner teaches a lot more than just dinner,” said Audra Hartges, president of GVSU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. “You learn about bread, butter, forks and plates, but you also learn a lot of everyday etiquette tips that you never would have thought would actually apply to real life.”

The etiquette dinner is put on every semester and it is recommended that any student attend, no matter what their major or area of study, but especially those who are in the process of looking for jobs or internships. There are about 100 tickets available for this semester’s event, and tickets usually sell out quickly. The dinner is $5 per student, but attendees are refunded once they check-in at the event.

“I would definitely recommend it to any and all students. It’s a great opportunity, and the food served is great, which is a definite plus,” Hartges said. “I’m really glad I went to the dinner because it has helped me in situations where others didn’t know what to do; I actually used what I learned.”

Clark agreed that the dinner provides students useful skills for the future.

“The Career Center recognizes the importance of etiquette and networking when applying and interviewing for a position or an internship,” Clark said. “We want students to feel comfortable and confident in their skills. This dinner is a really great and very fun opportunity for students to learn and practice both of these in a practice-oriented environment.”

For more information, visit Tickets for this event are available at the 2020 desk for $5 per student. The dinner starts at 6 p.m. and takes place in the Alumni House.

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