Etiquette dinner to help students make good first impression

Posted October 15, 2019

Fall semester Etiquette Dinner gives UW-River Falls students the opportunity to polish social skills used in both formal and professional settings.

The first of two etiquette dinners put on this academic year by the university’s Career Services in partnership with Chartwells Catering takes place from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 19. A five-course meal, seminar and professional dress attire are designed to help students who are looking to refine their social skills and dining etiquette.

The event is scheduled in the Riverview Ballroom on the second floor of the University Center. Tickets cost $15 and must be purchased in advance. A registration form can be found on the Career Services website,

Each year a dish is featured in connection with the “Year of…” initiative on campus. As this year focuses on Somalia, creamy cardamom chicken will be the main course for the Etiquette Dinner. Somali dining customs along with areas of etiquette will be highlighted.

“With all areas of etiquette, it is important to be educated on what you may encounter,” said Melissa Wilson, director of Career Services. “When you have been educated on areas of etiquette such as how to pass the bread, which fork to use, or how to properly introduce your supervisor to a friend, you feel more comfortable in formal or professional situations.”

Student Katherine Hiebl, who has participated in an Etiquette Dinner, said she was able to use her new knowledge in a professional setting. When asked to attend a dinner with her boss, Hiebl realized that it was a formal event. While “sitting down for dinner, I recognized the familiar place settings from the Etiquette Dinner and I felt at ease due to the recognition,” she said. “With the practice I received from the Etiquette Dinner, I also could easily and comfortably navigate the place settings of a formal dinner. From the etiquette dinner, I felt comfortable and confident in a professional setting.”

Wilson said first impressions matter.

“What is most important is that you are remembered for the right reasons, not the wrong ones,” she said. “And feeling comfortable in these situations helps you be remembered for the right reasons.”