09:27 AM

Students Learn Dining Etiquette

Table manners do matter is the practical philosophy behind the annual California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) Etiquette Dinner, a signature event hosted by the university's Career Center. More than 100 CSUSM students are expected to attend this year's educational and eye-opening event on Thursday, March 10 from 6-9 p.m. at the Lake San Marcos Country Club.Sandy Punch, who created the annual event at the university more than seven years ago, will preside over the four-course dinner and provide useful tips and instruct students on proper etiquette of professional dining.Good table etiquette can boost positive impressions on prospective employers and similarly poor etiquette can jeopardize a job offer, said Pam Wells, director of the Career Center at CSUSM."A first interview with a prospective employer is typically held in an office or boardroom setting, but often a follow-up interview involves meeting some of the company's executives and concludes with a business lunch," she said. "Although the formal interview may have ended, employers continue to evaluate applicants even during the meal. How an applicant performs is a telling sign to the employer of how he or she would behave with a prospective client or business partner, which would ultimately reflect the company's image. A business lunch can make or break whether or not an applicant will get a job offer."Throughout the evening, students will learn about appropriate table discussions and what menu items to order and which to avoid, as well as practical dining how-to's like how to properly pass food, how to eat difficult foods like peas, cherry tomatoes, and soup, and how to signal to a waiter that you're finished your meal. A favorite of past diners has been learning that when asked to pass the salt or pepper, diners should pass both together. Salt and pepper should always be passed together, even if a diner has only requested the salt. In addition to learning the dos and don'ts of dining decorum, students also learn networking skills and practice mastering their two-minute elevator speech.     What: CSUSM Etiquette Dinner     When: Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 6-9 p.m.       Where: Lake San Marcos Country Club -- 1750 San Pablo Drive, San MarcosAbout California State University San MarcosCalifornia State University San Marcos combines the ambiance of a mid-sized, personal, modern campus with the unequaled value of the California State University. Since its founding in 1989, the campus has distinguished itself. Students benefit from the latest facilities and equipment, a superb faculty that enjoys teaching, and a rigorous academic program that prepares students for a successful life in and out of the workplace. A recent survey reported that our annual spending in the region was $161 million, generating a total impact of $307 million on the regional economy. Eighty-five percent of CSUSM's alumni stay in the region. CSU San Marcos is located on a 304-acre hillside overlooking the city of San Marcos. It is 15 miles east of the ocean; just 30 miles north of downtown San Diego.