Starr Center provides lesson in dining etiquette

Melani Bonilla, Multimedia Editor

Baruch College’s Starr Career Development Center offered lessons in dining etiquette led by consultant Terri Thompson.

The Nov. 3 workshop was offered as a lesson in future networking functions for Baruch students – and fed them a buffet of fruit, chicken, pasta, and salad in the process.

“Now that we are gearing up for more and more in-person events, it is time to brush up on our dining etiquette,” the Starr Center said in a flyer that advertised the workshop.

Thompson, who led the seminar, is experienced in giving lessons in etiquette, having created her own consulting company called “Terri Thompson Presents” in 2011.

Thompson previously held etiquette seminars at several universities, events and firms. She touched on a variety of etiquette topics including at the dining, corporate and business levels in the professional world.

“Terri has come to our campus to work with students at two events, Schmoozapalooza, a networking event with students, alumni, and employers and our Etiquette Dinner,” Jennifer Guyer-Wood, the director of the career development center at Bellarmine University, commented on LinkedIn, adding that Thompson was “able to pack a lot of information in to a short amount of time in a way that was accessible and fun for students.”

The Baruch event was set up for students to follow along with Thompson as they dined and listened.  Two lines of students were formed beside the long table and were instructed to take their meals and beverages.

One of the key points Thompson made in her speech was to not make it seem like one is overloading their plate.

“Rule of 2 comes into play […] a couple of cheese cubes, a couple of pieces of celery,” Thompson said. “Whatever it is, and move on — don’t have this mountain of food.”

After getting food, it is important for one to wait for tablemates if they are sitting with at most eight people. When one begins to eat, their napkin should lay on their lap to catch loose crumbs or spills.

Once tablemates retrieved their food, Thompson discussed the proper way to eat certain foods, such as soups and salads.

Thompson told the students that soups shouldn’t be blown on or stirred, as they may cause splatter. Salads should be cut up if there are chunks of meat, lettuce or toppings. Dressing should be watched carefully.

Throughout the event, Thompson stressed that “it’s not about the food.”

She said that when students are dining, it is important that they present themselves in a manner that could impress potential employers. She added that a messy salad, rack of ribs or crab legs should be avoided to not risk students’ chances.

As the event wrapped up, Thompson gave the students a tip to further improve their chances of being hired.

“If you love that company, you love that person and you want to work for them — drop a handwritten thank you note in the mail,” Thompson said. “Most people do not do that, and you’ll stand out.”