“Good manners are just a way of showing other people that we have respect for them.” – Bill Kelly

I believe that good manners not only show respect, but also show that whatever it is you do, you are capable of doing it well.

I had the pleasure of learning from the best: Virginia Edwards, a nationally renowned etiquette coach, presented professional dining and networking skills at the SophoMORE Etiquette Dinner. She taught me many valuable lessons about fine dining that I am happy to pass along!

First Things First: Appearance Matters.

  • When RSVPing to an event, it’s more than okay to ask what attire is recommended.

  • Dress like others in your career field. A person who works at an advertising agency will dress differently from a person that works on Wall Street

  • If you’re still unsure about what you should wear:
  1.  Men:a suit is your best option, and your jacket and pants should match.
  2. Women:a suit is also your best option, and your jacket and skirt should match, along with pantyhose.

Making an Entrance:

When you walk into an event, be aware that others are watching you.  Make your presence known.                                                                                               

  • When you first walk into the room, take a moment to stop at the front of the room to look around. Look for the host and others that you would like to speak with
  • Don’t flock to people you know and sit with them all night. Events are meant to enhance your list of connections.

  • Posture, posture, posture.

Table Manners:  

Remember, manners matter!.

  • When you arrive at your table, do not sit until the host (or any other head of the table) sits, then you may follow.
  1. Every other action will also follow the host: removing the napkin from the table, breaking of the bread, eating, etc.
  • If you’re confused about which bread plate or drink is yours, here’s a fun trick (that shall be done under the table, only) :
  1. Touch your index finger and thumb together. Your left hand will form a B, while your right hand forms a D. This reminds you that your bread plate is on the left, while your drink is on the right.
  • Utensil basics:move from the outside in.

  • While eating your bread, break off small pieces and butter each piece individually.

  • Don’t talk with food in your mouth and chew with your mouth closed.

Food to order:

  • Don’t order anything that will be difficult to eat. This typically means stay away from food with bones.

  • Don’t order large portions,; remember you are being watched!


  • Thank your host and all others that you spoke with.

  • If you made a connection with someone, feel free to give them a business card.
  1. Yes, it’s important to have business cards; welcome to the real world!

Possessing good manners can open up an array of new opportunities for you. Tune into what others are doing at events and follow their lead. More importantly though, use every chance you get to make valuable connections. You never know when they will come in handy.

Visit Virginia Edwards website, www.BeyondManners.com, to receive more tips.



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In preparation for Porter Gale’s opening keynote address at this Saturday’s Employ the Pack conference, she has asked attendees to watch this video.

As you watch, you will see a student just like you putting himself out there, taking a risk, and in the words of Billy Joel, “showing his chops.”  Do you have chops?

As you watch this incredible interaction take place, ask yourself, “Self, would I do something like this? Do I believe in my abilities?  Am I confident enough to join the national stage with a legend in my field?”  Here’s some of my thoughts play-by-play:

0:10 – Even raising your hand to ask a question in a full auditorium can be intimidating.  But, what you have to say is just as important as any other question in that room.  So, raise that hand!

0:30 – After Michael asks his question, there is a moment of pause when the audience is waiting for Billy Joel’s response.  What do you think is going through Michael’s head at this moment?  And then, after the response, there is no turning back for Michael.  That’s what you have to keep in mind: once you take a risk, you are all in.  You’ve just invested in your chops.

1:00 – Here, Michael basically has a “mentor moment” with Billy Joel.  What would you give to have a moment like this?

1:35 – And then, he begins to play.  And you realize that Michael had nothing to worry about at all.  He is good, and his talent speaks for itself.  I bet your strengths speak for themselves, too.

4:45 – Here’s where those “chops” come in and where I actually get goose bumps.  Michael surprises Billy Joel.  He takes full advantage of this opportunity.  He has fun!

So, come to the Employ the Pack conference on Saturday and discover from Porter Gale how you can take full advantage of opportunities like this.  Learn how you can develop your confidence and grow some chops.  If Billy Joel likes chops, your future employers and networks will too.


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Wiz Khalifa was born in North Dakota and grew up in a variety of cities that seem to be polar opposites of New Orleans, but he seems to understand our philosophy and way of life pretty well.  He encourages fans to “work hard, play hard,” and whether or not you follow his music, I think he’s pretty spot-on with this viewpoint.

We are so lucky that we live in a city that has a variety of social offerings practically every weekend of the year.  For goodness sake, we just had winter holidays, the Superbowl and Mardi Gras all back to back! I for one feel like I am just catching my breath.  So, when planning events here in the Career Development Center, we continually compete with the city no matter the weekend.

Our approaching Employ the Pack conference is gearing up to be a fantastically informative half-day for attendees.  We are aware, though, that the Irish Channel Walking Parade is happening on the same day as the conference.  I’d like to point out the fact that the conference will be finished by 1:30pm, just about when the parade is scheduled to begin, and you can most likely catch all of it at a “second-half” spot.  Plus, the actual St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, with two parades to celebrate.  However obvious the option is to me, I would still like to help you in making sure you get the most bang for your buck on Saturday, March 16th. 

Priority #1: Surround yourself with green.

Irish Channel Parade: You will wear green.  You will catch cheap plastic green beads.  You may or may not drink green beverages.  Green vegetables will fly dangerously close to your three-year-old cousin’s head, who is also wearing green.

Employ the Pack conference: You will hear a wealth of knowledge from seasoned professionals who have found a way to make some green while still following their passions.  Discover yourself as a professional, a networker, an agent of change.  Whatever your passion, you will learn how to fulfill it both practically and financially.

Priority #2: Experience new things.

Irish Channel Parade:  Perhaps kissing lots of older men on the cheek in exchange for faux foliage is not something you have experienced before.  Fair enough.  But don’t say you haven’t seen a New Orleans parade, unless you’ve just transferred to Loyola in the past three weeks.

Employ the Pack conference: The Employ the Pack conference has been planned with graduating seniors and recent alumni in mind.  Therefore, the chosen workshops and keynote speakers will present to you knowledge that is on a bigger picture scale.   This isn’t your standard come-to-campus-on-a-Saturday-to-learn conference.  You’ll be exposed to novel and important ideas.  You’ll be able to explore options and feel supported in making a sound decision for your future.

Priority #3: Work hard.

Irish Channel Parade:  Some of those cabbages are heavy, and you may have to fight over them with a parade neighbor.  Also, some of the walkers are stingy with their flower giveaways, and they may really make you work for them.

Employ the Pack conference: I have no doubt that Loyola students are pros at “playing hard.” But, is “working hard” just as much a priority for you?  Have you put in four grueling years to Loyola University, and could potentially have cabbages to show for it? As cliché as it may be, let’s think about your future!

So, where are your priorities?

I will see you all on Saturday, March 16th.  You may be wearing a green suede suit and carrying a briefcase full of potatoes, but at the end of the day, we decided to take a gamble that job seeking students and local alumni would find the networking opportunity and skill development at the conference more valuable than the parade.

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Let the countdown begin! Employ the Pack: A Conference for Emerging Professional is just a few days away.  Happening Saturday (March 16th), this half day conference will feature breakout workshops and keynote speakers all aimed at providing seniors, graduate students, and young alumni the knowledge they need to confidently tackle the job search process.

We are excited to have Porter Gale serving as our opening keynote speaker.  Named a Digital Passionista by The Huffington Post, Porter is a social media expert and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in marketing, advertising, and independent filmmaking.  From 2007-2011, Porter Gale served as the Vice President of Marketing for Virgin America. She held the post of General Manager at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners where she worked with clients like Vegas.com, Coach, and Snapple Natural Beverages.  Porter has received numerous accolades for her work in the communications field.  She was awarded the Changing The Game Award, by The Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) and was on AdAge’s Digital Hotlist, iMedia Top 25-Digital Marketers.

Porter Gale is also an independent filmmaker.  Ms. Gale has produced or directed documentaries that have aired on Lifetime, PBS, Channel 4/England and in film festivals around the globe. Porter’s film work has been honored by the Directors Guild of America, The Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences and Filmmaker Magazine.

Porter’s first book, Your Network Is Your Net Worth will be published by Atria Books, a division of Simon & Schuster in 2013.  Her opening keynote address will address this same topic and will also be entitled; Your Network is Your Net Worth.  Come learn how to network yourself into employment from this knowledgeable expert.

Employ the Pack: A Conference for Emerging Professionals will be held in the Danna Student Center on Saturday, March 16th, 9 am – 1:30 pm.  Breakfast and lunch will be provided.  RSVP required!  To RSVP, click here or email lis@loyno.edu.  If you have any questions, please call the Career Development Center (504-865-3860).

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With less than 60 days until graduation, it’s time to kick your job search into high gear and begin planning for life as a professional.  Employ the Pack: A Conference for Emerging Professionals is the perfect way to do this! On Saturday, March 16th the Career Development Center will host a FREE half day conference full of keynote speakers and breakout sessions.  To register, please click here.

The breakout sessions include:

Fishing with the Digital Net: Using On-line Job Search Tools to Land a Job

Think you know it all about the internet job search? Think again! Experts teach you how to go beyond the obvious sources and help you uncover a treasure trove of internet job and internship search resources.

Presenters:     Val Matta, VP Business Development, CareerShift and Jill Boatright, Assistant Director, Career Development Center

Location:        Audubon Room, 2nd floor Danna Student Center


Can I Make It on This Paycheck?: Financial Planning 101

Planning for your financial future can be a confusing and complex process, especially on an entry level salary. Learn how to implement an all-encompassing personal financial plan by navigating the complexities of budgeting, deciphering employment benefit packages, establishing credit, saving for retirement, and paying off student loans and other types of debt.

Presenter:       Robin Robert, AXA Financial

Location:        Octavia Room, 2nd floor Danna Student Center


Leveraging A Gap Year Experience to Make Your Dream Job a Reality

Many students find jumping into graduate school or a full-time job daunting, yet they still want to do something meaningful and skill-building after graduation. Gap year experiences have the potential to broaden your knowledge base as well as strengthen your network. Explore popular gap year options and hear from a panel of individuals who were able to leverage their gap year experiences to launch a rewarding career.

Facilitator:     Jill Boatright, Assistant Director, Career Development Center

Panelists:        Sam Bowler, Community Team Leader, Google Inc. (Teach For America) and Sarah Gelfand, Assistant Director Alumni Relations/Campaigns (AVODAH)

Location:        Audubon Room, 2nd floor Danna Student Center


Branding Your Key Product: YOU

With one of the most competitive job markets in history what can you do to set yourself apart? In this program, Tom Daly will discuss how to identify and leverage your skill sets and earn the job you want. Those in attendance will leave with the tools they need to attack the job market head-on, including interview skills that will set them apart from the crowd.

Presenter:       Tom Daly, Partner, Benefit Administration Group, LLC. & President of the Society of Human Resources Managers New Orleans (SHRM)

Location:        Octavia Room, 2nd floor Danna Student Center

Registration is required and space is limited!  To register or for more information, click here or email lis@loyno.edu



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(**post written by Virginia Edwards, Etiquette and Protocol Consultant, BeyondManners.com**  Join us for the Sophomore Professional Etiquette Dinner on Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m.)

Like it or not, in business good manners equate competence.  Good manners, including accomplished dining skills, are considered important qualifications for all professionals.

Luncheons and dinners are often an extension of a business meeting.  For this reason meals are part of the interview process in many industries.  The employer wants to see the way you conduct yourself in this business yet social situation.  This scrutiny is especially important if you will be dining with clients and higher-ups.  Business relationships are developed and strengthened in these social settings.  You can lose all credibility with poor table manners.

When business is conducted over a meal, it can be easy to forget which glass is yours or which fork to use if you are a “dashboard diner” who eats on the run.  Remember the following tips and tricks from arrival to departure to alleviate any apprehension when dining.

  • Dress the part.  Always dress conservatively when dining for business.  “Test drive” your clothes to be certain you will be comfortable if seated for several hours.  Gentlemen keep jackets on during dinner not draped over the chair.  Neckties are not tucked into the shirt or thrown dramatically over the wearer’s shoulder.  Ladies hemlines or necklines should not need adjustment throughout the meal.
  • Leave your phone in the car so you are not tempted to take a call or a text.  You are there to visit and interact with the host and guests.
  • As soon as seated, place your napkin gently on your lap with the fold toward your waist.
  • If you are uncertain which glass and bread plate is yours, try this trick with your hands under the table out of view of other diners: Put your left index finger and thumb together to form a lower case “b”.  Do the same with your right hand to form a lower case “d”.  The “b” reminds you that your bread plate is on the left and the “d” reminds you your drinking glasses are on the right.
  • The guest orders off the menu first.  A good host avoids putting the guest in the awkward position of not knowing the limits of his hospitality by lightly suggesting an appetizer he knows is good or even one of the more expensive items on the menu.  As a guest you should not feel compelled to follow your host’s suggestions however it is advisable not to order the most expensive items.
  • Wait until all the dining partners at your table have received their food before beginning to eat.  Begin eating when the host begins eating or asks everyone to do so.  Start with the utensils farthest out and work your way in towards your plate.  Don’t panic if you find yourself confused.  Relax and take your cues from the actions of your host.  Do not eat too slowly or too quickly – pace yourself with the rest of the table.  Contribute to the conversation – but with an empty mouth.
  • Do not take photos of your meal.  Food critics leave the camera at home and so should you.  Chefs and restaurateurs are equally divided on the subject. The privacy of their guests is cited as the primary reason for banning photos.  The spectacle of a guest getting the correct angle of the plate and the accompanying camera flash are also cited as reasons to ban such activity.
  • If you need to excuse yourself from the table, quietly say to those on either side of you “Excuse me,” as you stand.  Place your napkin on your chair seat then push your chair under the table.  When you return, pull out the chair, remove the napkin, and seat yourself placing the napkin on your lap.  Listen intently to catch up on the current conversation.  If a woman leaves the table during a meal, men should rise from their seat.  Simply rise off the seat to acknowledge her departure and again on her return.
  • When finished eating do not push your plate away from you or stack plates for removal.  If you did not finish your meal, do not ask for a doggy bag.
  • The person who extends the invitation is the host and pays for the meal.  An important detail for women hosting a meeting over a meal is to arrange for payment of the check in advance with the restaurant management.  This preplanning eliminates the tug of war that can take place when the bill is presented.  When dining with peers, decide how the check is to be split in advance of ordering to reduce any confusion.  Do not overlook the fact that when dining with peers you should continue to display proper dining skills – you never know when one of you might be promoted or become the other’s customer.  In all cases remember to tip the wait staff 15 – 20% of the total bill.
  • When your host signals the meal is over, gently place your napkin on the table in front of you, stand, and push your chair under the table as you exit.  Be sure to thank your host as you exit and send a written thank you within twenty-four hours.

Practice proper dining skills at every opportunity and you will be more relaxed at all your meals.  Bon appétit!

To register for the Sophomore Professional Etiquette Dinner visit: EMPLOYOLA

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The Spring Career Fair is just two days away! Over 90 employers have registered to attend, and over half of these employers have reported that they are looking to recruit ALL MAJORS!

We look forward to seeing you at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome this Wednesday (February 27th), noon-4pm!

A few last minute reminders as you prepare for the fair:

  • Get prepared for the event by reviewing the 2013 Spring Career Fair Directory online.  This directory includes the list of employers registered to attend, the majors each company is looking to recruit, and a map to assist students navigate the event.
  • Plan to take the FREE shuttle to the event.  Because parking downtown can be complicated and expensive, we are offering a free shuttle to and from the event. Catch the shuttle at Freret Street and McCallister in front of Tulane’s ROTC building. Scheduled pick up times are 11:30 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 1:45 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. (The final shuttle will leave Superdome Gate A at 4:15 p.m. to return to campus.)
  • Dress professionally! A suit is encouraged, but if you don’t have one, plan on wearing professional business casual.  Be sure to iron your outfit the night before!
  • Make plenty of copies of your resume!

If you have any last minute questions, please feel free to stop by the Career Development Center this Monday (25th), 10:00 am – 4:00 pm during our Rapid Resume Review hours.


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From the Super Bowl to Carnival, February has been an exciting month for Loyola students. After a month full of endless reasons to celebrate, many seniors are feeling overwhelmed and behind in their job search preparations. The Career Development Center is here to help seniors get back on track with EMPLOY the PACK: A Conference for Emerging Professionals on Saturday, March 16th. Through two keynote addresses and a series of small group breakout sessions, this conference will give seniors, graduate students, and young alumni the knowledge and resources necessary to conquer the job search process.

It’s no secret that seniors will face a challenging job market. Despite this fact, EMPLOY the PACK: A Conference for Emerging Professionals will seek to inspire attendees to make their dream job a reality. In his closing keynote address – Making a Difference While Making a Living – Scott Beale will address this topic directly and provide concrete steps for translating your calling into a successful and meaningful career.

Scott Beale is a former U.S. diplomat and the founder and CEO of Atlas Service Corps (@atlascorps), an international network of nonprofit leaders that seeks to address critical social issues by strengthening organizations and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship. Sometimes referred to as a “reverse Peace Corps,” Atlas Service Corps has been heralded as “best practice” in international exchange by the Brookings Institution and was featured in the Washington Post as a model social entrepreneurship program.

Mr. Beale is also a recognized expert on the Millennial Generation and accomplished author of “Millennial Manifesto: A Youth Activist Handbook.” Furthermore, he was the founder of MillennialPolitics.com which has since grown into Mobilize.org, the largest nonpartisan political community for young people in the country. As a renowned professional and public speaker who has inspired countless young professionals to become agents of social change with his personal experiences on activism, volunteerism, leadership, and social innovation, we hope that he will embolden Loyola students to follow their passions and create the change they seek in the world.

Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about the conference’s opening keynote speaker, Porter Gale, former Vice President of Marketing for Virgin America.

To register for Employ the Pack: A Conference for Emerging Professional click here or email lis@loyno.edu. Space is limited so RSVP today! For more information, please call 504-865-3860 or visit http://calendar.loyno.edu/event/tdw1s7pc0m.

*This event is co-sponsored by the Alumni Association

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When you apply for your first full-time job after graduation, you will be competing against a very large number of other recent graduates, plus experienced workers who have been recently let go or are changing career fields.  Don’t let this discourage you, though; let it motivate you to stand out from the crowd!

Career Fairs are the best opportunity you can find to make connections face to face with recruiters who make hiring decisions. In order to make the most of those connections, your first impression needs to make a memorable impact on the recruiter.  A bit of preparation for your recruiter conversations will help you maximize your time, feel confident, and make a good impression at the event.

Here are some ways to do just that:

  • Visit http://nolacareerfairs.org/students/attending.html to find a list of employers attending the fair.  Use LinkedIn, Glassdoor.com, and Google to research the companies you are interested in speaking with. By doing so you’ll learn about each company’s industry and a bit about the culture and current events. By knowing more about the company you’ll be able to communicate in a clear and knowledgeable fashion and present yourself in a way that relates to the needs of the company.
  • Jot down questions you plan to ask and review them the night before the event.
  • Think of questions you may be asked and what your answers will be. For example, “Why would you like to work at ABC Company?” or “How does your experience relate to our needs at XYZ Industries?” or “Tell me a bit about your background and experience.”
  • Prepare a 30 second elevator pitch about yourself, your strengths, experience and accomplishments.  This will help you introduce yourself to recruiters in a confident and self-assured manner.

You’ve shown the recruiters that you’re serious about finding a career. You dressed professionally for the event, prepared your questions, and you were enthusiastic and polite. Remember that there are many people at the event, so you need to be sensitive to the time spent with each recruiter. Once you’ve delivered your message, answered questions, and established your interest in the position it is time to thank the recruiter, get a business card and state that you will follow up.

For the positions where you have genuine interest and saw a fit with your skills and experience, send a follow up email to the recruiter within 24 hours saying that you enjoyed meeting them and learning more about their company and would like the opportunity to move the process forward. You can also connect with recruiters on LinkedIn.  If there were companies that did not have a job that was right for you but you have interest in other positions in the company you can follow up and ask the recruiter for another contact in the organization.

Remember, each event is an opportunity to make connections: for an open job, to another recruiter in the company that handles your area of expertise, or even with other people attending the event. You’ve made the effort to get out there, so make the most of each meeting!

Let the Career Development Center Help You!

  • Visit the Career Development Center (2nd Floor, Danna Student Center) during our Rapid Resume Review hours: Monday, February 27th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
  • http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/careershas lots of information to help you get prepared for the big day! 

Kudos to www.nationalcareerfairs.com/ for assisting with material for this blog post.

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On Wednesday, February 27th from 12:00 – 4:00 PM at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, more than 80 employers will attend the Spring Career Fair.  Don’t think it’s for you?  Think again!

Myth #1:“Career Fairs are just for seniors.”

Truth:  Actually, there are numerous companies attending the Spring Career Fair that are interested in hiring interns.  Here are things to explore besides a traditional post-graduation job: summer experience, volunteer opportunities, and even chances to shadow or conduct an informational interview.  Employers want the opportunity to speak with all types of students.

Myth #2:“I’m too young to be at a Career Fair; I don’t even know what I would say to an employer!”

Truth: Participating in a Career Fair as a first or second year student is a great way to learn about companies you may want to work for in the near future.  If you research companies in advance, you can prepare what you’ll say.  Visit Employola for the full list of registered companies.  Also, learning how to speak professionally with employers is a valuable, life-long skill.

  • How is your handshake?  Too firm?  Too limp?  Here’s your chance to practice!
  • Does your 20-second elevator pitch come off rehearsed or natural?
  • Can you have a balanced conversation – a dialogue – where you ask questions and listen just as much as you talk?
  • Can you respond confidently to an employer’s question about yourself?

Myth #3: “The employer couldn’t take my resume. What a waste of time!”

Truth: Sometimes, company policy or even Federal regulations prevent some employers from accepting students’ resumes at career fairs. If a recruiter is unable to accept your resume, give them a business card.  Also, you can use your time productively and speak with employers about career paths and your career goals.  You have this employer’s full attention – use it wisely!  Connecting with the recruiter post-fair on LinkedIn or via email is a perfect way to maintain communication until the time comes when you are ready to apply for an internship or job opportunity.

To recap, First Year students and Sophomores can use the Career Fair to:

  • Explore possible internship possibilities!
  • Learn more about potential career paths and interact with employers!
  • Start building your professional network!

Let the Career Development Center Help You!

  • Attend the Career Fair Prep workshop on Tuesday, February 19th from 12:30-1:30 PM in the Octavia Room of the Danna Student Center to learn what you can do to make the most of the event.
  • Visit the Career Development Center (2nd Floor, Danna Student Center) during our Rapid Resume Review hours: Monday, February 27th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
  • http://studentaffairs.loyno.edu/careershas lots of information to help you get prepared for the big day!
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