Dinner Etiquette and The Performing Arts
On March 20, students in Goodwin College’s Women Invested in Securing an Education (WISE) and Men of Vision in Education (MOVE) programs participated in a formal dining and theatre experience guided by Goodwin’s Vice President of Advancement, Brooke Penders, and Pratt and Whitney’s Community Relations Director, Heather Summerer. With the help of the facilities team and catering by the Spicy Green Bean, staff members transformed the College’s community room into an exquisite setting for practicing business and dinner etiquette.
Students were greeted at the door by the speakers and evaluated on their handshake, eye contact, and introductions. Throughout the dinner, they were guided by tips on appropriate table manners, the function of the place setting, and how to carry on a conversation while eating. The goal was to make sure that students are comfortable in unfamiliar social situations. At the conclusion of dinner, students had a quick tutorial on theater etiquette and were treated to a performance of the national tour of The Book of Mormon at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts. The experience provided a unique opportunity for the staff to expose students to different cultural venues.
Our goal was to provide students with a chance to practice conversational skills and recognize connecting points when networking. We found it important to make their first performing arts experience fun and entertaining. The whole evening proved memorable for the students and plans are already in motion to attend future performances.
We acknowledge and thank our grant funders, the Harford Foundation for Public Giving, the Aurora Women and Girls Foundation, and the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, for making this event possible.
Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) students prior to the start of the fall semester were given an academic behavioral assessment called Engage©. The intent of the assessment is to look at the psychosocial factors that contribute to success in college. The results are the grouped into three major themes: Motivation and Skill, Social Connectivity, and Self-Regulation and Persistence. During the spring 2014 semester, our focus is on Motivation and Skill. Throughout students’ academic journeys, they will have a multitude of opportunities to enhance their reading, writing, and career skills through the classroom. While this is extremely critical to student academic success, students also need opportunities for experiential learning to enhance their “soft skills” in order to remain competitive in meeting the demands of a highly diverse and skilled work force. Employers no longer base their hiring decisions on immaculate resumes and cover letters; they seek articulate, well-rounded individuals who can represent their companies. Soft skills like travel, dinner etiquette, engaging in meaningful conversation, and access to the performing arts can give students an edge in securing a career.
This entry was written by guest blogger Aaron Isaacs, Goodwin College’s Director of Educational Opportunity Programs.