Nov. 17, 2013
Photo Gallery | Virginia Edwards Bio
This Thanksgiving, would it be considered rude to put a piece of bread on your fork and dunk it in the gravy boat? As it turns out, that would be perfectly fine according to the often surprising rules of table etiquette.
On Sunday evening at the Dail Club, corporate etiquette and international protocol consultant Virginia Edwards walked NC State student-athletes through a three-course dinner, teaching them the networking and etiquette skills that will put them in a position of confidence as they enter the professional realm.
"Honestly, I didn't know that the silverware needs to be used starting from the outside," said Wolfpack cheerleader Megan Holzer. "Even small details like that can make or break an important opportunity, especially on an interview. I think that shows that NC State takes us one step further, by preparing us for our professional lives."
Edwards began the dinner by discussing proper introductions in a professional setting. For instance, the best practice when introducing yourself is to provide more than just a name. If you lead with a short background, the person you're meeting will likely provide you with the same information. And in today's job market, forging a slightly more meaningful connection than the next person makes a difference.
The next step was designating a host at each table, which allowed Edwards to point out both the duties required of a good host, and the social cues that good guests are expected to recognize.
Edwards then dove into a comprehensive rundown of table etiquette. Helpful tricks included ways to handle silverware at a cramped table, differences in etiquette abroad, how to silently signal the wait staff without interrupting dinner conversation, and what foods to avoid in an interview setting (Hint: Don't get the wings).
"I always enjoy working with student-athletes, especially here at NC State," said Edwards. "These student-athletes bring so many things to the table in terms of time management, athletic talent, teamwork, and independence. My goal is that they leave armed with the ability to make the best impression possible."
The event was coordinated by NC State's Assistant AD of Student-Athlete Development and Community Relations Tonya Washington.
"Our student-athletes are confident in their athletic and academic abilities," said Washington. "As they go on to the professional phase of their lives, we want them to succeed with that same confidence."
--- Cavan Fosnes, NC State Athletics Communications