As a senior at UGA, I have attended a handful of networking events: some involved quick chats at high top tables and others were more formal dinners or roundtable discussions. When it comes to describing the Diversity and Inclusion Networking Dinner at Maggiano’s, I like to describe it as a good mix of all of these! The night begins with roundtable conversations at the table you are assigned and then progresses to a high-top table for networking over dessert – yum!
Here are a few do’s and don’ts that can be applied to the Diversity and Inclusion Networking Dinner and almost any networking dinner setting:
- Maintain eye contact when someone is talking to you or addressing the table.
- “Listen to understand, not to respond!”
- When you sit down, place the napkin in your lap. My tip for silverware is to start with the utensil that is farthest from your plate and work your way toward your plate. Take a look at this article for additional tips on formal dining etiquette.
- Don’t reach over the table for something! Ask for what you would like and wait for it to be passed to you.
- Be mindful to not talk over someone or dominate all the talking time. Keep your phone in your pocket or bag throughout the dinner so you can fully concentrate on the conversations at the table.
- Don’t chew and talk at the same time. If you find yourself not having enough time to eat, try asking the employers or fellow students at your table about themselves (pro tip: people love talking about their life, career journey, college experience, etc.!)
Now go make a good impression, Bulldogs!
P.S. Bonus points if you smile and remember to enjoy yourself!