Students Learn Etiquette Skills at Networking Dinner

Maureen Nikaido

Maureen Nikaido, director of the Career Center, provides guidance on proper business etiquette.

Thirty students and eight alumni participated in the second annual etiquette dinner organized by the Career Center, Campus Activities, and the Alumni Relations Office. The event, which included a talk by Manager of Recruiting and Training for Northern California at Southern Wine and Spirits Greg Clefisch, took place on March 26 and covered personal and etiquette skills that are important to employers.

“In addition to jobs skills, employers look for personal skills or etiquette skills that demonstrate your ability to work with others and represent the company well,” said Maureen Nikaido, director of the Career Center. “These are the skills that will set students apart from the competition. A good resume may get someone in the door, but these skills will ensure long-term success.”

Nikaido said that students who are considerate and respectful; demonstrate knowledge of how to converse with clients, prospective clients, and co-workers; and encourage others to trust them will gain an advantage in the workplace.

The event covered basic skills—like how to shake someone’s hand while holding a cup, napkin, and plate—and the finer nuances of business communication. Speaker Greg Clefisch emphasized the importance of personal branding. He said that people are always branding themselves. The manner in which someone dresses, enters a room, shakes hands, and expresses him or herself contributes to this person’s brand.

“Our actions, what we say, how we dress, emails we send, what’s on our Facebook pages, are all contributing to our personal brand,” Nikaido said. “I think students really connected with that idea.”

Recent Master of Science in Nursing graduate Giselle Walters said she learned some good points about branding at the dinner. “Although I’ve worked really hard to find a personal identity, when trying to land ‘the job’ I realize we not only have to excel, but also be . . . ‘socially’ ethical,” she said.

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