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Looking around at mealtime in the cafe­teria, one might see stu­dents sitting on their phones, shoving food in their faces, and slouching over their tables. That mealtime behavior probably won’t help land them a job.

The career ser­vices office is holding an eti­quette dinner to prepare stu­dents for pro­fes­sional dining expe­ri­ences on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Dow H. The class is intended for stu­dents to gain expe­rience and com­fort­a­bility in a formal dining setting, Director of Career Ser­vices Joanna Wiseley said.

Receiving her training from DTN Pro­duc­tions Inter­na­tional, an eti­quette training company, Wiseley is a cer­tified business eti­quette-dining trainer who has taught this class at Hillsdale for 15 years.

“I will give stu­dents the tools nec­essary to effec­tively interview while having to eat,” Wiseley said.

Wiseley will guide the stu­dents through a four-course meal: soup, salad, main course, and dessert.

“As you are in an interview setting, you are being inter­viewed the entire time,” Wiseley said. “You have to learn how to be an effective com­mu­ni­cator.”

Wiseley said eti­quette is not just eating properly, but it’s also about how to carry an appro­priate business con­ver­sation within a meal. She said she intends to cover every­thing from appro­priate topics during dinner to proper sil­verware usage.  

“People will be sur­prised on how much there is to learn,” Wiseley said. “There is so much more than just the meal itself.”

Senior Bilyana Petkova attended last year’s dinner and  said she found the event ben­e­ficial.

Despite being raised to act politely, she said often it is easy to forget the smaller eti­quette details.

“The class taught me how to put my napkin down, how to eat a salad, eti­quette for hier­archy at the table, when to stop eating, what to order on the menu, how to carry con­ver­sation, and how to properly excuse yourself,” Petkova said. “I think it’s really important for young people going into the pro­fes­sional world to know how to eat.”

Sophomore Erin Koch will attend the event, because of the class’s pro­fes­sional value.

“I think that knowing how to eat in a pro­fes­sional setting is really ben­e­ficial, and where else would I learn these skills?” she said.

Up to 50 stu­dents can attend the class by signing up on Hand­shake.