The Quinnipiac University School of Business is always looking for ways to give its students a leg up on those they will be competing against in their professional lives.
The school hosted an etiquette dinner Nov. 6 in the Mancheski Executive Seminar Room, where 50 business students gathered around white-clothed tables to learn business etiquette and dining skills from Karla Natale, of Cheshire, director of special events at Quinnipiac.
“We went course by course explaining what to do and showed what to do on a sample plate,” said Natale, who is certified in both business etiquette and international business protocol and has led etiquette dinners for five years at Quinnipiac.
“Etiquette still matters, especially when you’re looking for a job or networking,” Natale said. “You don’t want to come off sloppy or unkempt. You want to make sure you are projecting confidently. I feel like people hear the word ‘etiquette’ and get turned off because they think of being prim and proper, but it doesn’t have to be like that. It just means conducting yourself in a professional way that is respectful to others.”
The dinner consisted of three courses, including minestrone soup as the first course, chicken for the main course and pumpkin pie for dessert. During each course, Natale discussed the continental and American styles of dining as well as general etiquette, including accepting invitations, seating arrangements and their meanings and interacting with guests.
Lisa Alessandrello, of North Haledon, N.J., a junior international business major said she found the information to be beneficial. “There are everyday things that you do and you could have bad habits that you don’t even know about,” Alessandro said. “I think she did a really great job and the setting was very practical. She really covered the bases and people asked great questions.”
Belizabeth Serrano, of Meriden, a junior international business major, agreed that etiquette is important for interacting with people. “Etiquette allows you to take your time to eat and talk with people,” she said.
Giosué Improta, of Hamden, a junior accounting major, said, “I came to this the last few years and it helps me learn these lessons over again. It’s a great way to be with my peers and learn. As an accounting major, you need to learn how to schmooze your client and to set yourself apart from competitors.”