Gaining That Competitive Edge

Submitted by Enerida Ademi '13 on October 22, 2009

“You can have a high I.Q. but you might have a low E.Q.,” warned Ann Marie Sabath, referring to one’s “emotional quotient.” Ms. Sabath is president of At Ease Inc., a corporate etiquette training firm she founded in 1987, and was the presenter this year at the annual seminar series, “Gaining That Competitive Edge” at the Charles F. Dolan School of Business. The event was held in the Dolan School’s dining room on October 14, 2009, and ran from 5:30 until 9:15 p.m.

The purpose of the event was to provide students with proper “etiquette, both socially and in business,” explained Sabath. Students learned how to:

  • Improve personal style
  • Mix and mingle with others in a professional way
  • Apply etiquette at the dinner table

Ms. Sabath began the seminar by introducing 7 “First Impression Tips” using a projection screen. Topics included image for both sexes, body language, conversation, listening, management, resume writing, job interviewing, e-mail corresponding, and other tips.

After the introduction, students were asked to practice during a 15-minute “mix-and-mingle” time. Students networked while enjoying a snack of crackers, cheese, and fruit with soda. The dinner, along with proper etiquette directives, followed, and pamphlets of information were distributed for students to use as reference before an interview or business dinner of their own.

The seminar ended with questions from students, faculty, and business professionals. The Q&A was very helpful, providing personal testimonies and other ideas to discuss.

“It’s an excellent opportunity to learn etiquette before being placed in a situation where you have to use it,” said Kaitlin Moran ’12, a business major, of her reason to attend.

There was a diversity of students, those in the business school and those who were from a variety of majors such as English, Math, Politics, and International Studies. For those outside the business school, the seminar was just as helpful. It taught them how to interview for jobs, and general social etiquette.

No matter the major, all students will be confronted with interviewing for jobs and internships, and perhaps be invited to professional dinners where “etiquette” is a necessity. That’s why this dinner felt essential for all.

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