“It is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure, that we welcome you tonight. And now, we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair, as the dining room proudly presents … your dinner.” — Lumiere from “Beauty and the Beast”
NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — There won’t be singing candelabras or dancing dishes, but beauties and beasts ready to embark on careers in the workforce are invited to a four-course meal at Penn State New Kensington’s annual professional etiquette dinner at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, in the campus Conference Center.
Designed as a workshop on proper business etiquette, the event highlights the best practices for networking and handling awkward social situations. The function focuses on handling an interview that includes a meal, whether it is lunch, appetizers or dinner.
“We all face it one day, the big interview or the chance to impress an important contact or colleague over a meal,” said Jim Shields, associate director of career services and professional development programs at the campus. “It's an opportunity to make a positive impression, but you're more worried about not making a fool of yourself over a meal.”
The guest speaker is Tammy Manko, director of career and professional development at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). She discusses course-by-course dining etiquette instruction interspersed with tips on networking.
Manko brings years of experience to the session. In her position at IUP, she administers services, programs and operations of a comprehensive career development department. She provides career counseling and information regarding professional development and the job search process for a wide scale of majors, fields and industries. The Freeport, Pennsylvania resident holds a doctorate in education from the University of Phoenix.
Danielle Richardson, a senior communications major, attended the dinner last year. The Kiski Area High School graduate recommends that campus students exploit the punctilious repast to buoy their career aspirations.
“I learned so much about how to present myself professionally at the dinner,” said Richardson, the 2016 recipient of the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award, the campus’ most prestigious student award. “The presentation and the practical tips helped boost my confidence as I participated in interviews this year.”
In addition to the workshop and dinner, students and guests can network with Penn State alumni and career professionals.
"It is an interactive and fun way to learn how to act properly at professional and formal dinners and events," Shields said. "I encourage the students to take advantage of this opportunity to help their chances during the job-finding process."
The cost is $8 for Penn State students and $20 for family and friends. The fee includes resource handouts for use during the session and for future reference. The event is open to Penn State students and their guests.
Tickets are available in Career Services, located in the Academic Success and Career Center, on the lower level of the Activities Building.
For more information, call 724-334-6095 or email Jim Shields.