Mind your table manners

Semi-annual ettiquette dinner teaches dos and don’ts of dining in professional situations


Ryan Fischer

Terri Thompson conducts the etiquette dinner held each semester in the Memorial Student Center, March 2, 2016.

Marshall University Career Services held its spring Etiquette Dinner Wednesday in room BE5 of the Memorial Student Center.

Terri Thompson from Terri Thompson Presents was the speaker at the event. Thompson said she conducts the Etiquette Dinner every semester at Marshall University.

The Etiquette Dinner was a four course meal with soup, salad, an entree and dessert.

Assistant director for development and outreach in career services Debby Stoler said the goal of the Etiquette Dinner is to help students develop professionally.

“They’re getting all their academics in their classes and their school, but they also need that professional polish to really be marketable,” Stoler said.

Thompson instructed students throughout the dinner and gave them tips on everything from how to fold and place a napkin on their lap to what to do with soup crackers.

Thompson said she also teaches students how to order from a menu, how to negotiate conversation at the table and what to do if there is alcohol available.

“It’s a real life situation,” Thompson said. “They will be put in situations with an interview meal, lunch or dinner. And so tonight, we’re just trying to gain confidence on getting through the meal so that they can ace the interview.”

Stoler said by having events like the Etiquette Dinner, students become more confident in how to handle themselves when they are in a situation like an interview that includes dinner, which she said can be nerve wracking.

Thompson said it is common to have an interview involving a meal and when it comes down to a second or third interview, she said it will involve food.

Stoler said most of the time comments from students about the Etiquette Dinner are favorable and she said students feel like they learn something they did not know before.

Mechanical engineering major Benjamin Weible said he came to the Etiquette Dinner because it was required for one of his engineering classes.

Weible said he was unsure of how much he may need to know about table etiquette, but said he sees how it may help him in the future.

“Maybe one day I’ll learn something here that will make or break an important job promotion or something,” Weible said.

Undeclared business major Alena Adkins said she came to the event for the Marshall University College of Business Professionalism Month.

Adkins said she was excited for what she might learn at the event, like how to act when eating dinner with someone important, like a boss.

The Etiquette Dinner occurs each semester. Students may buy tickets for the dinner prior to the event at the Career Services Center.

Amanda Gibson can be contacted at [email protected].