Etiquette Dinner: A Lot to Learn!-Hayley

Hayley Smith
Master of Science in Accounting

Hello, my name is Hayley Smith and I was born and raised in Maryland. I am a first-year masters student in the Master of Science in Accounting program. In September the Smith Master Student Association (SMSA) hosted an etiquette dinner in Van Munching Hall with etiquette expert Michelle Pollard Patrick. This event was open to all Smith School masters student and was less than $20 to attend!

The dinner began with trivia about general etiquette rules, such as the difference between American and Continental dining. While I can’t claim to know a lot about dining etiquette, I was lucky to win the trivia game and got to take home the book titled Executive Etiquette Power which features a chapter written by the hostess!

Me with my prize from trivia (and latest read), a book called Executive Etiquette Power.

After trivia, we reviewed the place setting and proper table manners. While some rules are common sense (no phones at the dinner table) I was unaware of the variety of rules related to using a napkin! Finally, we began our three-course meal. Before eating each course, Michelle showed us exactly how to hold the fork and knife and how to properly cut up portions. The whole meal was delicious from start to finish! The first course was a salad, the second course was chicken with rice, and for dessert, we had tiramisu with coffee.

What appears to be a simple table setting can, in fact, be difficult to navigate.

Typically when I eat I put no thought into how I do it, but in a business setting, this can be the difference between a good and bad impression. Just a week after attending the dinner I attended a luncheon for a company office visit. I felt much more confident dining with partners and managers at the firm than I had in similar situations. I was extremely thankful for everything Michelle taught me and for SMSA hosting the event. I have no doubt that the skills I learned will be used throughout my career!

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