Business school believes good business manners only enhance good business sense

In an effort to groom students in the essential rules of etiquette and protocol required to interact effectively in business situations, the Mercyhurst College Walker School of Business introduced a one-credit seminar on Business Etiquette as part of its winter term offerings. The class is a new requirement for all junior and senior business students at Mercyhurst.

The program, which started Dec. 2, concludes Wednesday, Dec. 18, with a business dinner at the Clarion Hotel. The students will enjoy a social gathering at 5:30 p.m. before heading to dinner at 6 p.m. 

The seminar, taught by Jana Goodrich, a management and marketing instructor at Penn State Erie, is designed to provide business students with an introduction to the rules of business etiquette and appearance as they apply to various settings in the workplace environment. In particular, special attention is given to the behaviors expected when dealing with superiors, colleagues, and subordinates in a social setting. 

Topics include interview skills, business attire, networking skills, “meeting and greeting,” handling introductions, self-presentation skills, effective communication skills, handling business meetings and entertaining, and dining etiquette.

“The students will have to mingle during social hour, then sit with colleagues they have not met before and manage dinner,” said Lee Belovarac, assistant to the dean of the business college and a business school instructor. “Our new business school dean, Michael Victor, thought it was necessary for the students who are going to enter such a competitive arena to have these skills, especially since it can be etiquette that makes the difference between qualified candidates.”

Belovarac said that Victor launched the new program in part due to feedback from interviewers visiting the campus. “We realized that appearance and manners are a factor that gets a lot of attention when students interview,” said Belovarac.

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