When at a business mixer, where should you stick your name tag? Is it appropriate to have an alcoholic beverage during a job interview in a restaurant if you’re over 21? Is it all right to introduce yourself in a professional environment with only your first name?
Students from Georgetown’s professional foreign service sorority Delta Phi Epsilon received the answers to these questions — on your right side, probably not and never — and more at an etiquette and protocol training session by hospitality consultant Alexandra Kovach Sunday afternoon.
Kovach, a former Georgetown program manager who ran the Baker Scholars Program, heads Alexandra & Company, LLC, a company that offers event planning and hospitality consulting services.
Kovach’s lecture was the first of several events and speakers DPE has lined up for the semester.
Her presentation “How to Hold a Fork,” focused on proper etiquette in professional settings. Kovak offered DPE sisters a range of advice on how to conduct themselves to make a favorable impression on potential employers or future business associates.
“More and more now, job interviews are happening at the dinner table or they’re taking you out to lunch. And I can promise you that if you have the most fabulous resume, you’re extremely well educated, top of your class and you drink out of the guy’s water glass, you’re not going to get the job,” Kovach said.
DPE Vice President Wendy Wang (MSB ’11) said that while some might consider the information presented common sense, it is important for students looking to become professionals to educate themselves on etiquette specific to their fields.
“I spent one summer interning in China, and even though my parents are Chinese, I didn’t know how to behave in a professional environment,” Wang said.
Professional Chair of DPE Dena Sholk (SFS ’13) said she found the lecture particularly relevant to Georgetown students trying to secure a spot in today’s highly competitive job market.
“All of us do internships, we’re all very good students, we’re all very motivated and accomplished in our own fields, and I think there’s very much that [question of] how do you market yourself and how do you work on little things like etiquette that you don’t think of but that are actually incredibly important,” Sholk said.
Sholk said that she thought the lecture provided DPE members with important insights that they could apply to many professional situations, whether at an event on campus or while pursing career opportunities abroad.
“People, let’s be honest, they judge you,” she said. “You’re making a first impression, and knowing these things [makes a difference]. I think everyone got a lot out of it today.”