By Vanessa Przybysz
Work-Study, Career Development Center
Spring 2017 is my first semester in college and also my first time having a job. The great people at the Career Development Center hired me as a work-study, and since then I have been presented with some pretty remarkable opportunities. One of them was their Business Etiquette Dinner at the Westin Hotel in Lake Mary. Signing up for the event, I really had no idea what to expect. I wanted to gain experience for later on in my career and life and also wanted to be able to experience an event first-hand. I similarly wanted to gain knowledge about my department and vouch for the event to students in the coming years.
When I arrived at the Westin, I was greeted by the Career Development Center team. They checked students in and gave us name tags with our table numbers on them, and goodies like pens, pads of paper, ID holders, handouts, etc. Then we were guided to the training room.
The training started at 6 PM, and was given to us by Melena Postolowski, the Director of Internships and Employer Relations at Eckerd College. She first reviewed exactly what business etiquette really is and tried to engage the crowd as much as possible. Then, she reviewed the do’s and don’ts of dining and gave us an activity sheet to see how much we already knew about the placement of the table setting. To my surprise, I knew quite a few of items. Once that activity was over we were escorted to the dining room.
The dining room had around 10 different tables, each labeled with a specific number and the name of the host. I sat at table number one along with around 8 other students all in similar majors to mine. Our table host was Adrienne Fuller, a Speech Language Pathologist with SpeechBuilders, LLC. She engaged with each person individually, she asked us about our majors and could always relate it back to her own work. If anyone had questions she was always able to answer them with a clear and concise answer. And of course, it was nice that the servers presented us with a four-course meal.
Once we were finished eating, we were told that if we were leaving to excuse ourselves and thank the host. When I left, Mrs. Fuller shook my hand and gave me a business card. That’s when she told me about the hands-on internship opportunities there are at SpeechBuilders and I am considering contacting her in the future.
Overall, it was a really great night. I got to gain experience about business etiquette, as well as network and enjoy some really good food. I will be recommending this to other students in the future and hope to be able to do it again.