Saturday’s Charm School

Previously I’ve shared my panicking experience with graduation and the stress of having a good plan for school, work and internship. I figure that most of the stress actually comes from uncertainty. The crucial cause of feeling uncertain is the fact that I am not ready for what’s coming to me, such as graduation, interviewing, or even looking for a job.

Finding a lot of resources that I can use, I went to Technology Entrepreneur Center’s Charm School in ARC on Nov. 3. It was a helpful workshop that prepares students for formal extracurricular activities.

Started at 9 a.m. on Saturday, students showed up in their business formal suits. This workshop also featured nine experts in different fields to speak and share their experiences.

Rhiannon Clifton, Program Director in Advertising department from College of Media, previously worked in TEC as an Assistant Director and was invited to talk about women’s business dress code. Carlton Bruett is the owner of CarltonBruettDesign, a graphic design studio based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He talked about men’s business wardrobe. It was very interesting for guys and girls sit through each other’s wardrobe lectures.

This all-day workshop is $30 and included a lesson on lunch etiquette. It was the slowest lunch I had so far in my life. But it was a lesson of how to eat in formal occasions. It was a very formal meal that everything should be done in certain style. For example, when you are done with the salad, soup, entrée or desert, you should place your silverwares at a 10:20 direction. “You are never at a business meal for the food. You’re there for the business,” said Beth Reutter, an experienced profession in business etiquette. I would have never known it because forks and knives come in different styles compared to Chinese’s consistency in using one pair of chopsticks at dinnertime.

TEC also invited Kate Szyszka, a graduate student who will work for Quaker division of Pepsico, to speak about interview techniques. Sara Thompson, director from Illinois Leadership Center, gave a very interactive speech about the importance of learning leadership skills throughout college. She also introduced the opportunities that the center offers through various programs.

At the end of the workshop, a reception was held in the Multi-Purpose Room, right across from the auditorium from the workshop. It was a chance for students to share their thoughts with the speakers of the day. It was a good workshop. I think it just prepared me more for the interviews to come.

Jiayun Chen/Intern Reporter