Students mind their manners at annual Etiquette Dinner


Ian Levinson

Potential employers mingle with students over a three-course meal.

Professionally dressed students and alumni of all academic disciplines were able to network and dine with employers over a three-course meal at the annual Etiquette Dinner on Nov. 2 in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms.

The event was sponsored by Oakland University Career Services and the OU Credit Union, and it was organized by Career Service’s interim marketing and events coordinator, Kaitlyn Barbas.

Barbas was responsible for recruiting employers, OU departments and student organizations to sponsor tables at the dinner. She also managed student registration and seating assignments, coordinated catering with Chartwells, helped keynote speaker Callista Gould find the perfect layout for her presentation and oversaw the event in action.

“Even though I managed most of the planning of the event, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my Career Services team,” Barbas said.

Gould, certified etiquette instructor and founder of the Culture and Manners Institute, was there to help as students contemplated which beverage and piece of bread was theirs.

She taught multiple table-manner skills, from where to place a napkin during and after dinner to keeping salt and pepper together when passing them around the table.

The menu for the night consisted of garden salad, chardonnay chicken, grilled seasonal vegetables, duchess potatoes and chocolate layer cake.

Actuarial science major Erika Barker attended the event because she wanted to “learn about etiquette when eating.”

Junior communication major Steven Tocco, career ambassador program coordinator for Career Services, was also in attendance. He said he looks forward to the Etiquette Dinner every year.

My favorite part of the event is a tie between either seeing how quickly the speaker made everyone feel comfortable through practice networking and shaking hands, or the fact that I got to hand everyone a free business card holder at the conclusion of the event,” Tocco said.

Barbas thinks this event is beneficial for students.

I would encourage students to attend the Etiquette Dinner to learn of proper business etiquette, of course, but also to network with their peers, OU alumni, OU faculty and employers,” Barbas said. “As our speaker, Callista Gould, mentioned, ‘You can make the most important connections anywhere.’ We here at Career Services try to provide that environment for OU students and alumni to make those connections that will help them in the future.”