Student Life News

Subscribe to our RSS News Feed

Students Practice Professional Skills at Networking and Etiquette Event

Monday, February 09, 2015

Two women smile and shake hands at Point Park University's annual Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner 2015. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula
The Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner gave students the opportunity to interact with professionals. More photos on Facebook.

A firm handshake, a confident smile and good manners make a lasting impression on potential employers. These real world skills aren't taught in the classroom, but they are essential for students looking to make an impact in professional situations.

SL_Etiquette_Dinner_flutes_190_Mikula

Top Five Etiquette Tips

• Work from the outside in when using your silverware.

• Make a lowercase "b" and "d" with your fingers to remind you that your bread plate is located on the left side of your plate, and your drink is on the right.

• Always pass dishes to the right.

• If you leave the table, put your napkin on the left side of your plate; when you're finished, put it on the right side.

• If you don't like something you're served, just try a bite of it.

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, Point Park University students had the opportunity to get that real world experience at the Career Development Center's annual Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner, held this year at the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania in Downtown Pittsburgh. More than 60 professionally dressed students representing a wide variety of majors and programs mingled with 35 professionals from local companies including Huth Technologies, UPMC, WOWHire! and ReedSmith.

The event began with a networking reception, where students practiced their conversation skills while juggling sparkling cider "mocktails" and appetizers. Next, they sat down for dinner in an elegant dining room, where they learned etiquette tips from Career Counselor Amy Bittner during a four-course meal of vegetable soup, wedge salad, chicken parmesan with pasta and green beans, and chocolate cake.

"Our goal is for those students who attend this event to feel more comfortable when going into professional situations like this," explained Bittner. "We want them to feel confident and know what to expect so they can focus on networking and asking the right questions instead of getting hung up on the etiquette."

Both students and professionals asked thoughtful questions as they learned tips ranging from which fork to use to how to eat spaghetti. The positive, encouraging atmosphere allowed students to enjoy themselves while learning new skills and putting them into practice.

The evening concluded with awards for Best Dressed and Best Networking.

Find out what students and professionals had to say about this year's event below.


THE STUDENTS

Portrait of Point Park student Emily Stern at the Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner 2015. | Photo by Victoria A. MikulaEmmiley Stern

Junior, Public Relations/Advertising
Butler, Pa.

Name one thing you know now that you didn't know before this event.

I heard from professionals who gave me a new perspective on how everything changes. You might expect to do one thing, but that could easily shift. It's little things like this event that can change things for you.

How do you think what you've learned here will help you in your career?

If there's ever a work function, I'll know how to handle myself better in those situations. Instead of hiding in a corner, I'll know good networking techniques.



SL_EtiquetteDinner_KieranDevlin_250KJ Devlin

Freshman, Business Management
Sewickley, Pa.

Why did you decide to attend the Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner?

It's very good practice talking to professionals. Even if you're not talking to someone directly related to your industry, building connections can help you in the oddest of ways.

What's been the hardest part of this event?

Having the courage to just approach people.





SL_EtiquetteDinner_AnitaJones_250Anita Jones

Graduate Student, Adult Education
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Name one thing you know now that you didn't know before this event.

Enter your seat from the left, and exit to the right.

How do you think what you've learned here will help you in your career?

I feel more comfortable now, and I have the confidence to sit down and talk with an employer or potential employer over dinner, lunch or brunch without the fear of not knowing what fork to grab or how to hold my glass of water. As a graduate student, I think it's even more important because interviewing and networking don't just happen online or over the telephone anymore. You can meet potential employers or make new connections almost anywhere.



SL_EtiquetteDinner_MichaelMansmann_250Mike Mansmann

Junior, Civil Engineering Technology
Pittsburgh, Pa.

How do you think what you've learned here will help you in your career?

It's definitely giving me the skills needed to interact with employers properly, and it's helping me to avoid mistakes that you wouldn't normally think about.

Name one thing you know now that you didn't know before this event.

How to eat bread properly.

 



SL_etiquetteDinner_CiaraRiddick_250Ciara Riddick

Freshman, Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management
Norfolk, Va.

Why did you decide to attend the Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner?

I knew that I needed to get experience with these types of events, so I came for the first time to break the ice and not be nervous for when I come to this event next year.

How do you think what you've learned here will help you in your career?

This event is perfect because when I do get into my field, I'll have to talk to people. I know that this will help me be more comfortable with it because it's something that I have a hard time with now.



SL_EtiquetteDinner_LeahCain_250Leah Cain

Sophomore, Double major in Dance and Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management
Madison, Wis.

Why did you decide to attend the Networking Reception and Etiquette Dinner?

I wanted to get a feel for how to have the correct manners when I'm out to dinner with an employer. Also, the networking aspect was interesting to me.

Name one thing you know now that you didn't know before this event.

You have to cut one bite at a time when you're eating.


THE PROFESSIONALS


SL_EtiquetteDinner_KariCaribone_250Kari Carbone

Director of Program and Development, iHeartMedia
Point Park University alumna and member of Alumni Board

Why did you come to this event?

I wanted to meet students and see if there was any way I could help because I got a lot of help as a Point Park student. It's also good training as a working professional to interact and hone your networking and business etiquette skills. I think it's always good practice no matter what age you are.






SL_Etiquette Dinner_SamuelBoyer_250Samuel Boyer

Founder and CEO, WOWHire!

Why are networking and etiquette skills important for professionals?

It's real world. Business takes place all the time, over lunches and dinners, and you need to be able to understand at least the basic concepts of fine dining. That's the main thing students have to learn: There's a culture and environment for everything. You have to know how to do what.







SL_EtiquetteDinner_HannahDarkey_250Hannah Darkey

Learning and Development Specialist, AmCom
Point Park University alumna

Why is this event useful for students?

It's the practice time. Not only do students learn at this event, but they actually practice it, too, which is extremely helpful. It's very nerve-wracking to just go in and introduce yourself because you're thinking about so many different things. Just having the basic skills of manners and etiquette down is really helpful.






Text by Kimberly M. Roberts, senior, public relations & advertising major
Photos by Victoria A. Mikula, sophomore, photojournalism major

 

Subscribe to our RSS News Feed

Faculty & Staff | Current Students

Online | News | Calendar | Directory | Library | Give