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From left to right: Blake A. Heiges, Benjamin Horner and Brandon Keyser won gift cards for being voted “best dressed” by their peers in Professor Chaza Abdul’s ITM Business Class as preparation for the ZIPD Business Conference held on October, 10, 2013.
Heiges commented “Dressing professionally for a business class for practice is actually quite beneficial. I think every business class should practice.” Horner stated, “I enjoy looking professional in class. I think it shows respect to others and I felt comfortable dressing professionally.”
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Dress for Success
- Make a positive, professional first impression by leaving your jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, flip flops and sneakers in your closet.
- Remember, professional dress is REQUIRED for this event
- Men: dress pants, dress shirt, tie and blazer
- Women: suit, dress, or skirt and blouse
- Avoid strong cologne or perfume — may people have allergies
- Neat hairstyle; trimmed facial hair
- Conservative jewelry, make up and cover tattoos
Make a Positive Impression
- Turn off your cell phone
- No side conversations
- Listen actively by looking at the speaker
- Stay for the entire presentation
- Ask questions
Connect with Class
- Offer a firm handshake
- Make and maintain eye contact
- Do not chew gum or mints when talking with others
- Take the initiative and introduce yourself — include your name, year, major and career interests.
- Focus on what the other person is saying and ask questions such as:
- What interests you in this type of work and how did you get started? Can you suggest some ways a student could obtain this necessary experience? What are the most important personal satisfactions and dissatisfactions connected with your occupation? What part of this job do you personally find most satisfying? Most challenging? What do you like and not like about working in this industry? To what professional associations do you belong?
- Work from the outside in — the first courses will always use the outer silverware
- Always rest silverware on a dish — never on the table
- Your drink glasses are to the right of your plate; your bread plate is on your left
- Place your napkin on your lap as soon as you sit down
- Take small bites and chew with your mouth closed; don’t talk until your mouth is empty
- Say please and thank you
- Do not begin eating until everyone at your table has been served
Networking and Finger Food Etiquette
- The focus is meeting people, not eating
- You want to keep your right hand free so you can shake hands as you meet alumni
- Choose simple foods and fill only half your plate; make sure to grab a napkin
- To be safe, eat first, put down your empty plate and then get a drink; you will then not have to worry about trying to balance two things in your left hand
Don’t Forget the Follow Up!
- Reach out to the alumni you met or whose presentation you attended and thank them for their time.
- Mention what you learned and how the information was helpful to you.
- If you have alumni business cards, send an email or a hand-written thank you card to each person.
- If you don’t know how to contact alumni, email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.