Students polish etiquette skills at U banquet

Raiza Beltran

Sometimes a meal isn’t just the act of eating. Darcy Matz, an etiquette consultant, spoke to more than 200 people Thursday night about the do’s and don’ts of business dining.
“Polish & Protocol,” was the first dinner etiquette presentation held at the University in 10 years. For $10 a person, chicken, pasta, soup, salad and a piece of cheesecake were served in the St. Paul Student Center.
“When students meet with employers or go to a professional meeting, it’s important for them to know proper etiquette,” said Sara Nagel, College of Human Ecology career counselor. Nagel said questions on dining etiquette and proper clothing in business meetings were common in her office.
Matz, the vice president of Minneapolis-based Profile Resource Center, discussed ways to properly dine at a business meeting.
“Basically the first 30 seconds is very important,” Matz said. “In a split second they’ll form their first impression of you.”
Advice on how to give a good handshake and how to pass salt and pepper shakers were given to the well-dressed audience. Dayton Hudson Corp. also held an image presentation showing the proper styles of dress on business interviews and meetings.
“It’s good to know the little things to make a good impression,” said Tiffany Gaston, an animal and plant systems senior. “If someone puts forth the effort (to act properly), it would mean a lot.”
University career counseling offices and the Alumni Association planned the event to encourage professionalism among students.
“I’m learning a few things,” said chemical engineering junior Page Johnson who had already gone to a few business dinners and interviews. “I always winged it. It’s good to know exactly what to do.”

Raiza Beltran covers student life and student government and welcomes comments at [email protected]mn.edu. She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3221.