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Students learn etiquette skills at annual dinner

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The etiquette dinner was held for
The etiquette dinner was held to prepare students for future professional social gatherings. | Photo by Yijun Zeng

The Career Center at Colorado State University-Pueblo held a Dining Etiquette Dinner Nov. 5 for junior, senior and graduate students to prepare them for future professional social gatherings.

The annual dinner, which entered its 18th year at CSU-Pueblo, was held in the Occhiato University Center Ballroom from 5:30 to 9 p.m. All participants were required to wear business attire to the event.

CSU-Pueblo hosts the dining etiquette event each year to emphasize the importance of social interaction to students entering careers.

Dining etiquette is a way for employers to observe the interviewee during meals and social situations, especially for jobs requiring a certain demeanor with clients and superiors. For these reasons, future employees are closely scrutinized for their table manners and behavior.

Tina Prant, a senior student in psychology department, said this year was the first time she attended the event and that she learned a lot.

The Dining Etiquette Dinner hostess was Jacqueline Taggart, who works as a business professor and director of the Danish program at Pikes Peak Community College. She teaches a variety of business courses, designs customized training programs for the business industry and mentors students to become successful business leaders.

Twenty community leaders took part in the dinner and most of them were CSU-Pueblo alumni who went into industries such as banks, supermarkets, schools and law firms.

CSU-Pueblo President Lesley Di Mare and Paul Orscheln, vice president of Student Services and Enrollment Management also took part in the event.

Before the dinner started, attendees had 30 minutes to talk. Two of the community leaders, Cha Heberly who is a financial advisor with Stifel Financial, and Christopher Turner, an attorney with Bethart Turner Attorneys at Law, gave a short presentation.

“The Power of People” presentation introduced their career experiences and used their own examples to teach students networking skills, such as expanding recourse, going to networking event and taking notes about people’s interests on back of their business cards.

Herberly said when he was a student 10 years ago, he might not have been able to give the presentation he did, “but right now I can stand here to do a presentation. Everybody can do it in the future.”

After their presentation, students returned to their tables, which seated seven students to one community leader.

During the dinner, the leader gave participants about 20 dining etiquette questions. After each question, a new dish was served to students. It took almost three hours to get through the answers and finish dinner.