Can You Pass the Cream Please?

By Lauren Foote

The 11th annual etiquette luncheon occurred at Youngstown State University’s Williamson College of Business Administration from Feb. 23-26.

The luncheon was part of the Business Professionalism course — a course intended to help students experience a successful transition from a college lifestyle to a professional career.

Student participants enjoyed a full four-course meal catered by Chartwells — complete with soup, salad, entree and dessert. They were taught when to use appropriate utensils, how to pass dressing and sugar and how to successfully communicate with professional colleagues during a meal.

At these luncheons, a faculty member of the Williamson College directs the students.

Christine Shelton served as this year’s coordinator, and other faculty members helped put on the event, interacting with the students and directing them through the dining process.

Christina Costello, a business career liaison, answered some questions regarding the luncheons, explaining how they benefit the Williamson College community.

“The etiquette dinners are beneficial to students,” she said. “It provides students the opportunity to practice proper etiquette when faced with business dining opportunities during the interview process and/or full-time employment.”

These are skills that Costello said are valued in business.

“The Williamson College of Business Administration places emphasis on business professional growth and development to help students be career ready after graduation. Etiquette dinners are part of a professional development series of events,” Costello said.

Costello explained that the event is aimed at bolstering students’ confidence in professional settings — like fine dining experiences — that they may not be used to.

Business Professionalism is an eight-week course in which students are challenged to understand the various elements of professionalism — etiquette, communications, conflict resolution, career exploration and job searching.

The luncheons are part of the development of a business community and help students succeed in their collegiate and professional careers.