Monday, April 12, 2010

Dining for Success Dinner teaches students and alumni business etiquette

The Office of UIS Alumni Relations/U of I Alumni Association hosted its annual Dining for Success Dinner on Friday, April 9 in the PAC Restaurant.

Beth Reutter, a corporate etiquette consultant and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign taught students and alumni the rules of business and social dinner behavior.

“The main thing to remember is you’re not there for the food. You’re there for the networking that’s going on,” said Reutter.

UIS senior communication major Luke Runyon came to the course looking for answers. He recently went to a formal dinner with four forks on the table and had no idea what to do with them.

“It’s a great experience to really pick up a lot of those skills that you’re really going to need once you go out for job interviews after you graduate,” said Runyon. “I think it could be one of the deciding factors, especially in a job market like right now.”

Reutter has made it her mission to not only improve the etiquette of college students, but business professionals. She regularly speaks to Chamber of Commerce groups in Central Illinois as well as Chicago.

“It takes practice, practice, practice. I will say that to tonight’s group. You can’t just leave. You have to leave and practice it,” said Reutter.

She notes that etiquette is actually slipping in the United States and she’s made it her mission to improve people’s skills one event at a time.

“The biggest mistake is getting too comfortable. Going social instead of business. I’m very strong about warning against alcoholic beverages during a business event,” she said.

For more information visit the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition website.

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