Networking dinners are a very common part of doing business, and can be a great opportunity to expand one’s relationships. On Nov. 10, 2015, 40 specialty masters students at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business attended a Dining for Success workshop facilitated by Joyce Russell, senior associate dean of learning and teaching, and Jeffrey Kudisch, assistant dean of corporate relations and managing director of the school’s Office of Career Services.
The event, hosted by the Smith Master Student Association (SMSA), featured a delicious three-course meal served in the executive dining room of Van Munching Hall. Students were able to incorporate the tips for success being discussed by Drs. Russell and Kudisch during dinner.
Key take-away points from the event:
- It is critical to use eye contact, smile and pay attention to body language
- A firm handshake, and saying your name clearly can reveal self-confidence
- Use a person’s name several times when speaking with them
- Take an active role and say hello or introduce yourself to others
- Don’t barge into a group; come alongside the group and enter the discussion after you’ve made eye contact with everyone
- Proper etiquette can reduce offensive behavior, it can also ensure you treat others with respect and courtesy, and present yourself in the best way possible
- Choose foods wisely and focus on conversation, not the food
- During the meal, follow the host’s behaviors to help you avoid mistakes
- Use tools on the table correctly and pay attention to your table posture
- Wrap-up the conversation, and thank the host for the meal at the end of a dinner
“I believe the masters students will be able to immediately utilize many of the excellent tips provided by Drs. Russell and Kudisch. Attending a professional dinner will now seem less intimidating,” said Ellen (Meng) Liu, president of SMSA.
- Amy Swann & Ellen (Meng) Liu, Masters Programs Office