Lauren Black, class of 2019 accounting and information systems double major, writes about a business etiquette dinner, held on Oct. 3, 2017, at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. Photos are courtesy of Daniel Jenkins, class of 2018.
First impressions are everything in the world of business. How you present yourself can determine whether you are hired or not. With small classes focused on relevant topics outside of academics, the class BMGT398T is concentrated on helping transfer students build and maintain their professional profile. The class hosted various events to mimic real-life business settings to acclimate students to the Smith School and build their confidence for entering a competitive industry. On Oct. 3, 2017, the class partnered with Target to host a business etiquette dinner where students were taught the ins and outs of eating while networking at a work-related dinner. They were able to network with Target representatives, Stacy and Jim, who have worked with the firm for nine and six years, respectively.
For many college students, going to a client dinner during their internships or after starting full-time is their first experience being cognizant of dinner etiquette. Not many students know how to approach a complex place setting, and this situation may often seem daunting. After all, how many students need to know the difference between a fish fork and a salad fork during their time at UMD? Teachers of the class Evan Riddle and Ebony Fullwood, both academic advisors in the Smith Undergraduate Program, gave an excellent presentation about dinner etiquette, focusing on how to navigate a business meal while being conscious and considerate. A point stressed throughout the night was to focus on the conversation, not the food. The point of business dinners is to build on business relationships. The presentation covered key tips, such as maintaining eye contact and having a good handshake, and both Evan and Ebony pointed out important details that students normally overlook.
Juniors Audrey Stultz and Eunyoung Jang, enjoyed the delicious catered dinner and were happy to speak about their experiences in this class and at Smith. “My biggest takeaway from the class was recognizing the extensive array of opportunities,” Audrey explained, “…it’s difficult to see the different things Smith offers independently, but being in this class has forced me to look into professional development opportunities.” Eunyoung had a similar response explaining, “they’re teaching us things besides textbook class materials such as how to write a resume and how to approach a nice dinner. This class just allows you see the bigger picture of what to expect in a business setting.”
Smith focuses on strengthening its students academically and professionally.
For more information about the undergraduate program at Smith, visit: www.rhsmith.umd.edu/undergrad.