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Interns Schooled on Business Etiquette

Submitted by on March 24, 2014 – 7:11 pm
Business etiquette luncheon

Northern Essex Community College interns who participated in a business etiquette luncheon are, front row, left to right – Daniel McAndrew, Molly Fitzgerald, Michael Alongi, Chad Gorham, Thomas Shamma, and Andrea Cardwell. Back row, left to right – Max DuCap-Laguerre, Rick Paganelli, Nicholas Mazzone, and Christina Hillner. Missing from the photo – Ysasha Guzman.

Nearly a dozen Northern Essex Community College interns were all business at the recent business etiquette lunch sponsored by the planning and strategic initiatives department in the David Hartleb Technology Center.

The business and journalism/communication interns are participating in the pilot internship program which places them at internship sites such as Kiss 108, WEEI, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, Wicked Local, The Eagle Tribune, Moody, Famiglietti & Andonico, Youngclaus & Company, and Colony Foods.

Reminding them that they only have one opportunity to make a first impression, Rose Dittmer, retired assistant dean of career planning, who served as facilitator , counseled the students on the proper business etiquette when dining out. She pressed upon them the importance of dressing and speaking appropriately at a business function and knowing the rules of the dining table.

Dittmer explained how an individual in a lesser position should be introduced up to the individual in a higher position. She told them to always wear a name badge on the right lapel so when shaking a person’s hand his or her eyes will naturally fall on the name badge. Never, she says, sit until invited to do so, so that among other things, you don’t sit in the CEO’s seat.

table set for business etiquette luncheon“Try and assess the tone of the event,” she recommended. “Be sure to RSVP and reach out to the administrative assistant who sent the invitation to find out the proper dress. This will help you avoid being over-dressed or under-dressed.”

Before attending an event, take the time to learn a little background about the company sponsoring the event, Dittmer suggested, so that small talk doesn’t become awkward.

Before entering the room she reminded them to turn off all electronic devices.

The interns were treated to a four-course dinner catered by Simply Elegant Catering.

As they dined, Dittmer reviewed with them which utensils to use when, how to pass the rolls and butter, and how to eat various dishes.

The event culminated with Dittmer explaining how to make an exit graciously while thanking the host. She also stressed the importance of following up with a thank you note.

For additional information on the internship program, contact Ashley Bragger, staff associate in Career Connections and coordinator of the business/journalism/communication internship program, at