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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Katie Thomas
WARRENSBURG - 12/12/2006 - A young college graduate is invited to a final interview. However, there is one drawback; the interview will be held at a restaurant where a meal costs more than the clothing he will wear. How does he impress the potential employer and get the dream job?
First Event Emphasizes Basic Skills
In an effort to provide UCM students with the basic skills of dinner etiquette and conversation, the UCM's Office of Career Services recently hosted the first Etiquette Dinner. The event exposed students to basic principles of traditional etiquette used during a business dinner through hands-on interaction.
More than 60 Students Participate
More than 60 students enjoyed a five-course meal catered by Sodexho while Teresa Alewel, director of Career Services, and Tracy Crow, marketing director for Sodexho at UCM, advised students on etiquette that should be practiced during a dinner with a prospective employer or client. Alewel considers business dinners an integral part of the interviewing process.
"Our students graduate academically prepared, but many haven't been taught the social and business etiquette necessary for survival in the workplace. Etiquette can have a definite impact on career success," said Alewel.
Students Are Better Prepared
The program was opened to juniors, seniors and graduate students. Students paid $10 to enjoy an entertaining and enlightening dining experience.
"It was an opportunity to learn how to not make a fool of myself at business dinners," said Brenda Mackey, a senior public relations major. "Many things we learned were common sense. However, I learned that business meals aren't about eating, but rather about communication and networking. Programs like the Etiquette Dinner are another way UCM is going above and beyond preparing students for life after college.
Communication Skills Add to Experience
Alewel and Crow demonstrated the proper use of dining utensils, napkins, and plates to students. They also emphasized the importance of nonverbal communication, good judgment, and courtesy while dining.
Certified Training Available
Alewel received training from the Etiquette Institute in St. Louis, Mo. in April 2006. After completing four days of intimate training with founder and president, Maria Everding, Alewel was certified as an etiquette coach.
The Etiquette Institute specializes in training and certifying adults to provide consulting and programming for colleges and businesses. Topics of instruction include verbal and non-verbal communication and social business etiquette.
Alewel hopes to continue the Etiquette Dinner annually for fall and spring semester graduates. This will be determined by attendance and general interest in the program.�
Teresa Alewel, standing left, UCM director of Career Services, and Tracy Crow, right, marketing director for Sodexho, provide instruction to students on proper introduction techniques during the first Etiquette Dinner hosted by the Office of Career Services.