Students learn business dinner etiquette

August 23, 2018
Office of Marketing and Communication
Business Dinner closeup

Business student Branden Young ’19 (East Randolph, VT) took these photos of both the place settings and the attendees navigating their way through the dinner under Professor Letovsky’s guidance.

Always let the interviewer sit down at the table first– and make sure you order something that’s easy to eat with a fork and knife.

Those were some takeaways for students as the Saint Michael’s College Business Society held its second annual Business Etiquette Dinner on April 18, 2018. Led by Professor Robert Letovsky of the Department of Business Administration & Accounting, the event focused on helping Saint Michael’s students develop some basic strategies in terms of do’s and don’ts if they are invited to a meal during the job interview process.

Working closely with Sodexho, the event’s organizers arranged for an elaborate sit-down meal to be served to attendees in the Roy Room of the Dion Family Student Center.  Professor Letovsky guided the participants through the meal, using materials provided by internationally-renowned business etiquette expert Ann Marie Sabath, founder and President of At Ease Inc.  Over the course of the meal, participants were given guidance on simple but important strategies regarding what foods to order (or not to order) as well as on what kinds of behaviors prospective employers may be watching for closely during an interview meal.

As noted, this was the second year the Business Society and Professor Letovsky offered the dinner, and it followed several years without such an event on campus.  Previously, another Saint Michael’s staff member who had acquired certification from the Emily Post Institute had led the event, but she retired in 2013.  Prior to that, the Department of Business Administration & Accounting had sponsored Ann Marie Sabath to come to Saint Michael’s to lead the event.place setting

The April 20 dinner was an unqualified success, students and organizers said afterward.  About 30 students attended from a wide range of majors. Credit for organizing the event goes to the Saint Michael[s Business Society Co-Presidents Branden Young, Shannon Kelley and Joshua Sumner, who organized and promoted the dinner.  “A huge thank-you goes out as well as to Sodexho chef and manager Scott Quimby and his staff who provided not only a memorable three course meal but impeccable service as well,” Letovsky said. The event was co-sponsored by the Department of Business Administration & Accounting, whose chairperson, Dr. Karen Popovich, also attended the dinner.

Participant feedback was overwhelmingly positive.  Shannon Kelley said “I’ve had many people tell me that they really enjoyed what they learned at the event and they really liked the food! They said they learned a lot of new things that they haven’t even thought about before such as not sitting down before your host, or to only order food that you can easily eat with a fork and knife.”  Josh Sumner noted that “… the presentation was very informative and was presented in a very engaging way. It’s my opinion and the opinion of other attendees that I have spoken to, that all of the topics covered were very important and enlightening.”

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