Free Etiquette Workshops Offered


Sean Gorman

Tiffany Wiernusz explains to the students proper dining etiquette and networking skills during a free workshop.

Sean Gorman, Reporter

Misericordia University attempts to prepare students for life after college, offering programs and workshops to get students ready to perform at highly-skilled jobs. Recently, a workshop to help with the fundamentals of professional dining etiquette and networking skills was held.

Knowing how to behave in a professional setting and network with others are vital skills in the work industry. To help prepare students for this, every fall semester Misericordia offers three workshops, organized by Bernaette Rushmer and Tiffany Wiernusz, to anyone interested in learning these skills or wanting to perfect them.

Rushmer explained the etiquette workshops have been held at Misericordia for a long time.

“We began conducting the professional etiquette workshop in its current form in 1999, along with the inception of the Guaranteed Placement Program,” said Rushmer. “The workshop has been updated and revised over the years, but its purpose remains the same. Understanding professional etiquette helps to create a professional atmosphere and helps individuals feel more comfortable in that atmosphere.”

Rushmer says making students feel comfortable in professional environments is one of the main adjectives of the workshop because it is important for students to also feel confident in these settings.

“We also hope that understanding professional etiquette will help workshop participants feel more confident in professional settings and situations,” Rushmer added. It is hoped that, after gaining confidence, students will be able to network better and make connections in a business setting that can advance their career.

Many skills are taught to students in these workshops.

“During the workshop, we teach dining etiquette, dressing for professional events and how to network,” says Rushmer. When asked about recreating a realistic real world professional setting, Rushmer explained participants practice different situations that simulate realistic work settings.

“We serve dinner during which the students are exposed to a more formal place setting,” she said. “This gives students the opportunity to see, understand and know when to use each piece of a formal place setting. Following the rules of dining etiquette can help an individual stand out as a polished professional.”

Rushmer and Wiernusz take these workshops very seriously and do their best to make them as realistic as possible. At the etiquette workshops, tables featured different plates, glasses and silverware to replicate how a dinner would look at a business event. The two women explained to students each of their purposes, how and when to use them

After the meal, there is another exercise.

“In addition, we do a networking exercise towards the end of the workshop, “Rushmer explained. “It gets the students up, meeting new classmates, and gives them the opportunity to practice their introduction, small talk and handshakes.”

At this particular workshop, students stood up and conversed with one another in a professional manner. The combination of environment and exercises allowed students to work on polishing their small talk and networking skills.

“These are skills that everyone needs, but rarely can you attend a workshop, then put the skills to use,” Rushmer added. “We’ve received positive feedback both during and after the workshops. We try to infuse real-life stories into our workshops so students can learn from them, which many times bring laughs and really helps them understand.”

All three workshops are open to anyone interested in attending. Students may sign up by logging into their Handshake account on their MYMU.