IMPRESS SUccess Week Prepares Students for Business World

Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management hosted an IMPRESS SUccess week to prepare students for different business situations including networking tips, a professional dress workshop and an etiquette dinner.

The week began with a networking session that gave students a few tips to keep in mind when being introduced to an employer such as:

  • Remember to be polite, even when career fairs can be stressful.
  • Be sure to have a firm handshake – weak ones will be remembered.
  • Eye contact is key!

The next event covered communication tips that often fall by the wayside or are overlooked. Etiquette expert, Miesje Havens, led students through these tips:

  • A hand-written thank you note can make your name and resume stand out.
  • When you’re writing an email to a company president, ask yourself if you’d feel comfortable sending it to your mother. If you are, then you’re good to go!

The third event that students were able to attend focused on the dos and don’ts of professional dress. The sessions were split up, one for men and one for women. The following suggestions were voiced to students in attendance:

  • Women: If you have a handbag with you, make sure it’s a dark color.
  • Women: Carrying an extra pair of flats in your bag for before or after the interview is ok, but heels should be worn for the interview itself.
  • Men: Your belt color and shoe color should always match.
  • Men: Matching up your own suit could result in slightly different colors or fabrics, which can stand out to employers as unprofessional.

SUccess Week culminated with an etiquette dinner that one student described as “one of the most difficult yet rewarding meals [she has] ever had at SU.” Havens led two sessions of the dinner in Whitman and shared the following etiquette suggestions:

  • When the bread basket is passed, rolls won’t cause trouble, but sometimes slices of bread aren’t sliced through all of the way, which can get messy and embarrassing to touch more than you have to.
  • It’s ok to eat all of your meal, but make sure to take your time.
  • In general, follow the lead of the interviewer in terms of price and whether or not to order dessert.

For each event that students attended, they were able to get IMPRESS points for themselves and for their respective house. The higher a student’s IMPRESS score is, the more leadership-building workshops they’ve attended throughout the year.

Sarah Graham