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Career Services provides two professional events

April 1, 2015

Every semester UW-River Falls Career Services hosts events targeted towards helping students reach their professional occupational goals.

Two upcoming events, the “Etiquette Dinner,” which will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on April 14 in the River View Ballroom in the University Center, and “Mock Interview Day,” which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on April 15 in the River View Ballroom, will help to increase students’ professionalism along with making meaningful connections with potential future employers.

The Etiquette Dinner is a white-linen professional event which includes a five-course meal served by the professional catering service on campus.

The event will be led by the director of Career services Melissa Wilson, who is a certified etiquette presenter. Wilson will provide information with each course of what silverware to use and tie-in other areas of professional etiquette that students are in need of.

“One of the areas we talk about is the art of small talk, so being able to start and carry on a conversation with a stranger. This is a necessary skill in today’s world,” Wilson said. “Many jobs are found through people you know, but you will be meeting with a lot of people, and if you aren’t carrying on a conversation with those people they aren’t going to want to bring you on board because they won’t be seeing your personality or value.”

Other areas that will be covered include the proper way to introduce people, cell phone etiquette, golf etiquette, ordering, and what the rule of the host is.

“We cover things we feel students need to know in order to go out to interviews and be considered professional in today’s world,” Wilson said.

By attending this event, students will become educated in the areas of fine dining and professionalism, even if they feel they may never attend a professional dining event.

According to actress Liv Tyler, “It is better to know it, and not need it, then to need it, and not know it.”

The deadline to register for the Etiquette Dinner is April 8. Tickets to attend are $12 and can be purchased in Career Services. Students are also asked to dress in their professional best.

Career Services will also be hosting Mock Interview Day which provides students an opportunity to experience a typical interview and to refine their interviewing skills.

“I thought Mock Interview Day was helpful because interviewers tell you if they would or would not hire you at the end of your interview, and I got checked ‘would hire,’” said sophomore business management student Andrea Stang. “It was my first interview that wasn’t just for a summer job.”

According to the Career Services website, by participating in Mock Interview Day, students will enhance their communication and interview skills necessary to being competitive in today’s job market; practice professionalism by arriving early for the event; dress professionally; learn to display a positive attitude while at the event; and build their professional network by developing connections before graduation and obtaining contact information to stay connected.

Paychex Recruiter/Talent Acquisition Gloria Fatze, who has been conducting mock interviews for the past 10 years, says interviewing is all about communication and building rapport.

“When I’m interviewing, I listen for someone’s ability to paint a picture of what they’re trying to explain, and their ability to share information with me so I can understand,” Fatze said.

In preparation for Mock Interview Day, students should also think about how they might answer questions.

“Students should think about different things they’ve had exposure to and how that can relate to what might come up in an interview,” Fatze said. “They should be able to talk about difficult positions they’ve been put in and how they can still paint that negativity in still a positive light.”

For students who have never taken part in a professional interview, Mock Interview Day is a chance to practice both speaking and interviewing skills.

“I would compare it to shooting a basketball. If you’ve never done it before and you go and shoot a basketball you can do it, but is the ball going to go in the hoop and are you going to be good at it? Probably not,” Wilson said. “There are fundamentals to it and practice involved and that is what Mock Interview Day is about.”

The deadline to register for Mock Interview Day is April 6. Attendees are required to wear business professional attire. To sign up for Mock Interview Day, go to http://bit.ly/1FbslHv.