Dec. 3, 2012
Recently our student-athletes had the opportunity to attend the Young Professionals Dinner at TCF Bank Stadium sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. The dinner was an event designed to help the student-athletes network, practice professionalism, and listen to a leadership presentation from a former marine, all while practicing the fine art of dining etiquette.
The bulk of the evening was dedicated to learning proper dining etiquette from guest presenter Gretchen Ditto. She stressed the importance of etiquette as attending professional dinners with employers is common, emphasizing the need for students to learn these skills prior to obtaining their first position. Gretchen provided many tips which included: how to properly shake hands, appropriate utensil use with each course, and napkin folding, as well as interesting facts about making toasts and clinking glasses. Although the event was full of laughter, it also provided a business-like experience where student-athletes were given time to talk with local professional while enjoying dinner with them.
The dinner was impactful for many student-athletes who were pleasantly surprised by how much they were able to learn and take away from the experience. According to Luke McAvoy from the Gopher Football Team, "The Young Professionals dinner was a fun way to learn valuable lessons on etiquette and networking. The etiquette rules were mostly new to me. I learned important information about etiquette that I will always remember, such as only take the drink on my right when dining." Katherine Windsor from the Rowing Team had similar feelings as Luke. Katherine states, "It was really fun to learn the in's-and-outs of dining etiquette! There were so many things that I did not know going in which were really interesting to find out and get to practice at the same time. It was also great to see a variety of professionals from different fields willing to come in and share their expertise and experience with us. Overall, I recommend this event to others in the future!"
A special thanks to the professionals who spent the night providing excellent examples of how to use etiquette and networking skills in a professional setting. After speaking to several student-athletes who were in attendance at the event, it is clear that the Young Professionals Dinner had a strong impact on the future endeavors of these young individuals. The next Young Professionals dinner is scheduled for Monday, February 11th and will take place at TCF Bank Stadium. The event will start with a Networking Time at 6:30pm followed by a 7:15pm dinner. Please look for details on the Student-Athlete Affairs website or speak to Anissa Lightner or Liz Amici.
Reported by Caty Dongoske