Networking and negotiating over dinner is part of doing business, but the rules for success can be difficult to master. A couple hundred Smith School freshmen got a crash course in how to navigate high-stakes dining on April 23, 2015, from Etiquette Institute of Washington director Crystal Bailey.
Over a zesty spring salad, the students absorbed ground rules for posture and ice-breaking conversation. A main course of tantalizing chicken over seasoned asparagus and rice accompanied insight to utensil signaling, tactfully addressing difficult foods and international eating customs.
Dessert time included tips on “selling yourself” and “keeping cool” in front of a big name. “The dinners aren’t about the food, but about building connections,” Bailey told the students.
The workshop at the Riggs Alumni Center culminated the 2014-15 Smith Start series, developed by the undergraduate program to help first-year students prepare to maximize their Smith School experience.
“Going in to a professional dinner with a confident, elegant sway creates a gravitational force of attraction around you,” said Victor Mullins, dean of undergraduate programs. “The better students are able to adapt, the more successful they will be.” /GM/