Freshmen in the David Eccles School of Business Scholars Program celebrated their first semester with an etiquette luncheon.
Hosted at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City, students dressed in their business professional best for lessons ranging from how to sustain a light conversation in a business setting to which fork to use first. All 500 students in the program joined together at tables of 10 to talk about their semester, practice business etiquette, and laugh at spilled lemonade or dropped silverware.
Andrea Thomas, assistant dean of undergraduate studies, spoke to students on the importance of appropriate conduct during business meals. Proper dress, phone etiquette, and RSVPs to events were some of the topics she touched on before moving to table settings and placement. She addressed the importance of rank in business, entering the seat from the right, and never taking home leftovers. Sorry, Cheesecake Factory, but politeness is the cherry on top.
While many parts of etiquette are intuitive, Business Scholars learned specific formalities with place settings and eating a meal. For example, many freshmen were shocked to learn that every single bite of the roll has to be buttered – individually – when eating. And that although messy and expensive foods should be avoided, one should always take a cue from the person in the senior position. While the focus was on American standards for courteous conduct, Andrea explained that it is essential to be aware of the setting across cultures. Awareness is key for proper manners.
The luncheon was the perfect way to end the semester. Students were able to share a meal, learn valuable lessons, and practice buttering those rolls.