Fairfield University
| April 2016 | Fairfield University News Channel

Etiquette Dinner Gives Students Competitive Edge

Did you know that if you write down the time you want to leave so that you’ll arrive early to a meeting, you’d never be late? This was one of the many tips given at the 14th Annual Business Etiquette Dinner, held last Wednesday, March 23 at the Dolan School of Business.

This professional event was open to all classes and sponsored by the Dolan School of Business. The etiquette seminar was meant to give Fairfield students the skills necessary for social business environments, such as how to work a room, how to jump-start a conversation and how to respond after an interview.

Dolan School of Business dean, Donald Gibson, PhD, introduced keynote speaker Ann Marie Sabath, president of At Ease, Inc., which she founded in 1987. Dr. Gibson explained that, “This event is an important part of our Professional Development Series and will help students compete in the marketplace.”

At Ease Inc. works with major companies such as Procter & Gamble and Marriott International. Sabath has also written nine books on etiquette. She said the way to achieving success is by learning the “200 half-percents that can lead to winning 100 percent of the way in business.” This is a part of a checklist she created that can be used to determine how professional an individual is in a business setting. 

After networking with participants, students sat down for the etiquette dinner. Sabath demonstrated the continental style of dining, which is more appropriate for a business setting. When choosing what to eat at a restaurant, Sabath recommended always asking what the waiter recommends. The elegant meal included an entrée of chicken breast with asparagus, mashed potatoes and fettuccine alfredo. For dessert, a decadent slice of chocolate mousse cake was served.

In addition to directing students through the business dinner, Sabath also coached them through other tricky social business situations. She said it is common to forget someone’s name, but a clever way to bypass this awkward moment when introducing people is to “delegate,” or work around the name. For example: “Have you met my colleague?” or “have the two of you met before?”  Sabath also advised students to take their time while speaking so that by pausing and thinking about what they’re saying, they can remove dull words in their vocabulary such as “um” or “like.”

Christian Tucci ’17, a business student majoring in management, said the event was both “entertaining and informative.” As part of the Professional Development Series, the Dolan School of Business hosts this event, along with many others, to ensure that Fairfield students are prepared to hit the ground running in a professional environment as soon as they graduate.

Malcolm Gilbert ’16

Last modified:  Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:20:00 EDT

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