Career Corner

Stockton students practice professional etiquette at dinner

Students indulged in a 5-course meal while practicing proper dining etiquette at the Professional Etiquette Dinner on Monday night, which was hosted by Career Education and Development and sponsored by Aflac.

Representatives from Aflac were also present at the dinner, which was preceded by an Aflac career discussion panel. The panelists enjoyed the dinner alongside the students. The event was also held to honor Stockton student Ava Dressendofer, who was the top intern in the country at Aflac this semester.

The event kicked off with a brief introduction by Dayna DeFiore, followed by Dr. Noel Naylor, who hosted most of the event and provided etiquette tips throughout the dinner.

“Table manners and etiquette say a lot about your refinement,” said Naylor, a professor in the hospitality program at Stockton.

The 5-course menu at the dinner. Photo courtesy of Emma Desiderio.

Before the first course was served, Naylor went over basic dining etiquettes, such as silverware placement, seating arrangements, posture, and phone use, which is typically considered rude.

“If it’s not part of the experience, it shouldn’t be part of the table,” said Naylor.

She also discussed the proper way to make introductions, and how to engage in appropriate conversations at the table. One tip was to avoid controversial topics.

The first course was an hors d’oeuvre, in which Naylor discussed how to properly eat. Students at each table engaged in discussions while enjoying the course.

The second and third courses served were soup and salad, which students seemed to enjoy very much.

There was also an “intermezzo” served, otherwise known as a “palette cleanser,” in between the third course and the entree. Naylor discussed the history of the intermezzo in dining culture.

Students were able to choose between chicken, salmon, and a vegetarian option for the entree, all of which were served with potatoes and vegetables. The dessert which followed was a New York-style cheesecake with berries.

Mary Dressendofer, a top New Jersey Aflac agent, introduced her daughter Ava, who was being honored. Ava discussed the challenges of her internship and how she was able to succeed.

“Your mindset is everything,” said Dressendofer. “Not stepping up and taking risks out of fear of rejection will get you nowhere.”