Business etiquette is an essential skill to have in a business environment. Etiquette is built on communication, which fosters healthy and successful working environments. This also promotes individual success to anyone willing to learn.
“We do talk a lot about marketing,” Kelly Byrnes, president of SUNY Plattsburgh’s American Marketing Association, said. “But, we also talk to students about interviews, applying for jobs and different topics like that.”
Luckily for students, the Plattsburgh American Marketing Association has created a business etiquette series to teach students about global culture, business travel, networking and dining etiquette. Students will be able to learn more about business etiquette by attending upcoming meetings on March 11 and 18.
The meetings will have guest faculty speakers, student information, and advice and tips to prepare them before graduation.
The first event was held March 4. Guest speaker Lise Heroux, from SUNY Plattsburgh’s Marketing Department, spoke to students about global culture and business travel. The meeting was online and students left the online meeting knowing how to greet people, tip, build goodwill and keep things professional.
Regardless of a student’s major, they’ll be able to bring that knowledge and information to real life situations.
“The March 11 meeting will feature guest speaker, Dr. Nancy Church,” Byrnes said. “She will be discussing cocktail party etiquette and the art of conversation and small talk. This meeting is a lot about networking; what to say, what not to say, topics to stay away from. I think anywhere in any industry, students can take a piece of this information and apply it to their lives.”
The March 11 meeting will be held over zoom. The meetings are open to all SUNY Plattsburgh students. Students can find more information about the meetings on Plattsburgh AMA’s Instagram page.
On March 18, John Parmelee, from the hospitality department, will be teaching students how to dine like a professional.
“People don’t necessarily know that there’s an art to the way we eat,” Byrnes said. “There’s a certain way that you have to act at dinner. Especially in a professional setting when you’re with your boss or your colleagues. You have to know little things like what to do with your napkin or your fork.”
Parmelee will give students hands-on experience to help them dine like a professional. The meeting will be in person, but as of now, the AMA is still figuring out the final steps in planning the event. The association wants to ensure that the event is as safe as possible for students and they are confident that they can deliver.
“Now there’s going to be COVID protocols and there will be limited capacity.” Antonella Angulo Madueno, vice president of SUNY Plattsburgh’s AMA chapter, said. “We’re planning on having the third event at the ACC on campus in one of the conference rooms. It’s hard, but we’re trying our best.”
Students are required to wear a mask, wash their hands and learn how to dine like a professional from six-feet apart.
“Essentially, we’re going to have 10 meals that students can come and eat,” Byrnes said. “However, we’re still in the process of getting catering and things like that because it’s going to be in person. But, we’re still planning on having the event, and I don’t see any problems popping up. We’ll keep students updated as we get closer to the event.”
The etiquette series meetings are typically 45 minutes to an hour long, and students can expect about 20 other attendees. Speakers will go through a quick series of PowerPoint slides to show students essential tips and tricks that will come in handy in the future. Before the meeting ends, students are given the opportunity to ask the guest speakers any additional questions that they might have.
“This series has been around for a few decades and every year we have really positive feedback,” Byrnes said. “It’s definitely something we’re looking to continue. This etiquette series will prepare students for critical situations in their lives, no matter the environment. Whether students have attended a meeting before or if it’s their first time, they will always take something away from each event.”
Just like every other club or sport on campus, the AMA has been affected by COVID-19. The organization has been running the series since 1989. However, the AMA is still like a tradition to Madueno.
“We actually do the business etiquette series every year,” Madueno said. “Since it happens every year we don’t want to break tradition. Around this time of year we usually have this conference in New Orleans, and it would teach students how to behave and how to network. That’s why there’s travel etiquette and dining etiquette. It’s extremely important because not only business students are traveling for work – we all want to make an impression.”
Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business world has changed drastically. Things are a lot different now, especially in the working world, and students will need to learn to adjust. The business etiquette series will help prepare students for their future.
“Sometimes the required business courses don’t tell us everything we need to know, like how to type up a resume,” Madueno said. “When I came to AMA sophomore year, they taught me to be more professional, and I learned how to behave properly. It’s pretty nice. It keeps you busy and it gives you so much to learn. I wasn’t scared when it came to my next job interview. I knew what to do and what to say. It helped a lot.”
While COVID-19 has caused meeting numbers to drop slightly, the AMA is going strong and it’s members highly encourage students to attend.
“Before AMA, I was clueless. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say,” Madueno said. “I know because I joined AMA that my resume will look impressive to future employers. It was a good step for me. I’m definitely glad I joined. It’s a huge confidence builder, especially when you join as an underclassmen. I definitely encourage other students to attend our meetings.”
Students can get more information by contacting SUNY Plattsburgh’s AMA over email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can also go to @plattsburghama on Instagram to get more information on upcoming events.
“Things have been tough with every club with getting [students] there, students are on zoom all day for classes,” Byrnes said. “So, it’s understandable why they don’t want to come to meetings after school. We’ve been working hard. There are so many steps and guidelines to go through, but we’re doing good and we hope the students enjoy the meetings coming up.”