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Career Corner

Current Career Topics for Mount St. Mary's University Students

Keyword: etiquette

Whether you are preparing for a job or internship, it is very important to consider workplace etiquette.  Since every work environment is different, consider how well you fit within the organization, and these tips on workplace etiquette may help you make an easier transition into the workplace.

One of the easiest ways to smoothly transition into a new workplace is to make positive first impressions.  Learn the names of your coworkers and learn them quickly.  Since this can be a bit overwhelming on the first day, a good tip to help you remember someone’s name is to use their name about two times in your first conversation with them.  It is also important to realize that it’s sometimes not what you say but HOW you say it that matters.  Always be kind and courteous to your fellow employers, and remember to smile.  Not only will it make you feel more comfortable with your new coworkers, but it may also make you an even more productive worker!

Some other important things to remember when incorporating workplace etiquette into your new work environment simply involve common courtesy.  For example, be sure to return all phone calls and emails within 24 hours of receiving them.  Even if you just respond saying that you will have more information at a later date and will contact them as soon as you can, it is very important to do so.  Not returning an email or phone call is seen as unprofessional.  It is also important to always adhere to deadlines.  Many work environments are fast-paced, and so deadlines are essential to the flow of the workplace.  If you do not think you will have enough time to complete a project or task before the deadline, speak with your supervisor immediately.

 A final thing to remember is that if you have any questions about your workplace’s etiquette or protocol, simply ask your supervisor.  You will be more successful in the workplace if you follow these etiquette tips.  For more tips on how to adjust to a new work environment, contact the Career Center at 301-447-5202, or simply stop by the Career Center to make an appointment.

Contrary to popular belief, not all interviews or business transactions take place in an office. Many times employers will ask to interview you in a dining setting to see how you handle yourself in a different environment. Regardless of your professional field, there will always be events where you must prove that you know how to present yourself and your company in a professional manner. But don't worry - the Etiquette Dinner is one way to learn how to conduct yourself in this setting!

This semester's Etiquette Dinner will be hosted by Michael True, the Director of the Internship Etiquette DinnerCenter at Messiah College. He has been working in this field for 22 years now, and this will be his third year hosting this great event at the Mount. In the spring of 2010, Mr. True released a website called, which is a website that helps students develop professional skills during their internship or co-op experience. Forbes magazine picked this website as one of the "top 100 websites for your career" for the second year in a row!

The Mount is obviously very excited to welcome back Michael True to host this great event, but what exactly will you learn? Michael True can teach you essential skills you will need in a professional dining setting, such as holding your plate and drink in one hand while shaking hands with the other professionals present at the event. It is also an important reminder to always have your nametag on the right side of your chest. When you shake hands with someone, their eyes are automatically directed to your nametag and they will associate your name with your face as you shake their hand.

Michael True will offer some other helpful tips that are important to know. For example, when rising from your seat, you should never drape your napkin over the back of your chair. Always fold the napkin and place it next to your plate before rising from your seat. It is also important to note that interviewers typically pay for the meal. With that being said, remember to bring cash just in case and always wait to see if the interviewer is ordering dessert before you order - it's just polite!

These small yet significant details can really affect your reputation as a professional mature adult in the business world, so be sure to be aware of them as you take your next step into the future. To hear other important tips from Michael True, sign up to attend the Etiquette Dinner at the Career Center. But hurry - there is limited spacing available!

The Career Center also thanks Enactus and Edward Jones for making this great opportunity available to students. We hope to see you all there!

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