At 4 p.m. on Thursday Oct. 7, dozens of students dressed in business casual attire attended PSU’s Student Etiquette Event. This event was hosted by the Office of Career Services at the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts.
One of the main objectives of Career Services is to help PSU students make the transition from being students to being full time professionals. The Office of Career Services holds a Student Etiquette Event every year to teach students how beneficial first impressions and proper etiquette can be in a competitive work field.
“Students don’t find themselves in these formal situations often, so making this etiquette event tangible, memorable, and fun for them will help them later down the road when they find themselves in the appropriate circumstance,” said Jaime Dalton, director of Career Services.
Career Services has hosted a student etiquette workshop annually since the early 2000s. The only year skipped was last year because of health concerns.
“Especially coming out of COVID year, we were hesitant to do our usual formal, sit-down meal,” Dalton said. “This year we had to re-envision the event so we could be distanced, but still give students the opportunity to learn the key traits that will be helpful when they get out in the world and start doing interviews.”
The social distance-friendly event was modeled after speed dating. Volunteers with professional experience ran tables that covered a single topic of etiquette, ranging from greeting people, remembering names, tying a tie, use of cutlery, alcohol decisions, and thank you letters. There were 13 tables and the groups rotated tables every 4 minutes.
“I attended Pitt State and I remember my first experience going to a student etiquette dinner, and how interesting it was,” said Emely Monsour, assistant director of Student Diversity Programs. “I still apply a lot of what I learned at the event in my everyday life.”
Lots of PSU professors encourage their students to attend this event and some even offer extra credit to attendees. The event was free to students, but registration was mandatory for those in attendance.
“These are things that they can apply to their professional careers,” Monsour said. “Students that are here today will remember these skills, manners, and tips with them forever and, hopefully, pull them out when it matters. There are a lot of stations and subjects being taught in a short amount of time, but hopefully with this fun, speed-dating concept, they will be able to retain a lot of the information.”
Students congregated afterwards and took photos sporting their free PSU folio and their business attire.
“I’ve watched YouTube videos before because I have always found it interesting, but this is the first time being mentored in person,” said Wasma Aliya, freshman in clinical psychology. “I think if somebody was on stage lecturing it would have been a little boring, but since they had attendees move around it helped keep us engaged and have some fun.”