Moving away and attending college has taught me a plethora of valuable information, not only about myself, but also about life. For instance:
- Milk can last up to 3 days after expiry date.
- Espresso should usually only be made for the amount of a shot, not a huge mug if you plan on getting sleep that night.
- You can and will actually get sick of pasta every night (even if you’re Italian)
- Make sure your alarm clock has back up batteries…
However, the information I learned from inside the classroom and attending events held by the Alumni Association will always be the most valuable to me in the workplace. Working at the Alumni House through my last 2 years in college certainly had its perks. Not only did I meet and get to work with great people, I had the opportunity to attend some annual events such as theEtiquette Dinner and Career Networking.
For anyone getting into the workforce, attending events like these can be very important. After graduation, or even prior to, you’ll want to make as many connections as you can in your industry to better assist you with a position in the future. Do you have your ‘elevator speech’ perfected for when that moment comes and you need to introduce yourself in under a minute? If you make a great connection and you’ve landed an interview, are you prepared for what’s to come next? In the future, your interview for that dream job you’ve been wanting since you were young could be held at a restaurant and proper etiquette may just assist you in landing the job. Even if you already have a job, continually dinning with business dinner etiquette will set you up for future success.
When you attend the Alumni Association’s Etiquette Dinner you’ll meet one of the world’s cutest, and long-term couple. They’re pretty popular and they’ll be at everyone’s table making their rounds. If someone at your table feels their food needs a flavour boost they’ll be looking for one of the two and ask you to please pass it. Yes, Mr. Pepper and Mrs. Salt are happily married (for how many years, that’s one thing I don’t know) and should never be passed alone, even if someone just asks for the one.
Networking is a never-ending event, so you’ll be sure to want to know all the tips there are. It’s about developing genuine relationships with people who will be there for you even when you don’t need them. Everyday we are networking, whether it’s in person, or through social media. Social networking can be a bit different but proper etiquette still applies. After attending the Career Networking event last year, I learned more about myself just from talking to others during the activities. We all had to write out a few points on ourselves and career plans to create an elevator pitch that we would eventually practice on other attendees. I walked away with three business cards, new LinkedIn connections, and a better feeling for the next time I’m in a situation at work that my networking and etiquette skills should be put to the test.
Both these events teach you the little things you never thought you would even have to consider during your meal or chatting with someone new. When a job is on the line, that’s not the best time to realize you do not know which fork to eat your salad with or how you should use your spoon when you’re trying not to spill hot soup all over yourself. It’s never a bad idea to have a few tips in mind that will assist you in the future. Print off yourself a few business cards with your full name, contact number, email and area you are specializing in and go out there! Just remember to never “divorce” Mrs. Salt & Mr. Pepper.
– Lu Ann Pannunzio