The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students, staff learn lesson in etiquette

Students Yessica Guzman and Yolanda Hamilton exchange practice business cards during the mocktail hour. Exchanging business cards was one of the lessons learned at the luncheon Feb. 24 on South Campus. 

Photos by Sondra Falcon/The Collegian
Students Yessica Guzman and Yolanda Hamilton exchange practice business cards during the mocktail hour. Exchanging business cards was one of the lessons learned at the luncheon Feb. 24 on South Campus. Photos by Sondra Falcon/The Collegian

By Anne Francomano/ tr news editor

South success coach Tristian Evans sits down for the meal.

Discretion is the key to etiquette, a professional counselor told South students and staff at the Brand U – Etiquette Luncheon: Dining in Style Feb. 24.

Robyn Bone, deputy director of psychological health outreach for a U.S. Navy Reserve program, actively coached participants through each step of a formal social event made up of a mocktail mixer and a four-course meal.

“One workshop goal is to make people more comfortable in situations that they may not encounter every day,” she said.

A common thread in Bone’s work, both with Navy reservists and at her local Family Matters Counseling Center, is supporting her clients through transitions, such as adjusting to a new environment. Whether working with military personnel and families for their deployment and return home or guiding students into the business world, she helps her clients manage the stress of change.

“I am here to build resiliency to life’s stressors,” she said.

The workshop focused on etiquette training to ease students’ transitions into unfamiliar business mixer and dining environments.

“The main thing about etiquette is doing things discreetly,” she said. “You don’t want to draw attention to yourself. Everything you do, from ordering to how you season food, tells an interviewer something about you.”

Bone suggested that people who season their food before tasting it could be viewed as impulsive.

Students Yessica Guzman and Yolanda Hamilton exchange practice business cards during the mocktail hour. Exchanging business cards was one of the lessons learned at the luncheon Feb. 24 on South Campus.
Photos by Sondra Falcon/The Collegian

During the mixer, participants helped Bone with demonstrations and then practiced handling common situations such as properly holding stemware, respectfully exchanging business cards and making conversation.

Participants were tasked with learning three facts about five other attendees. As attendees shared with the group what they had learned about each other, many mentioned they had offered information about resources of interest to the other person. Bone noted the group was already actively networking by helping each other.

For each meal course, Bone walked the audience through dining etiquette details from properly sweetening a drink and addressing a dropped fork to the underlying meaning of utensil placement. Bone cautioned the audience about crossing the utensils on a dinner plate.

“Always place the fork and knife alongside each other,” she said. “If you cross them with the knife in the fork prongs, then the chef will think you didn’t like the meal.”

Each participant answered an identical dining etiquette questionnaire before and after the event to gauge what they had learned.

“I knew some tips before, but this session provided much more information,“ South nursing student Yessica Guzman said. “I will definitely be able to use these skills right away.”

This was the first etiquette luncheon on South Campus that Tristian Evans, South advising and counseling success coach, could attend.

“As I am advancing in my career, the number of conferences and networking events I need to attend is definitely increasing,” he said. “It is more important to be aware of how to handle myself professionally.”

South Campus business management student Yolanda Hamilton also found the event helpful.

“I am seeing more interviews being held in a meet-and-greet type setting,” she said. “Everyone can benefit from this knowledge. This is an awesome thing that student services does for the TCC community.”

Tasha McGhie, career coach and trainer with The Women’s Center in Fort Worth, said she is looking forward to incorporating key etiquette advice into the monthly seminar she holds on South through the Family Empowerment Center.

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