There are 3 forks at my setting, which one do I use?

By: Kelsey McMullan

Did you know Student Employee of the Year awards are coming up?

Your nomination could come from anyone, but all of this year’s nominees are deserving of an award and praise! Think of the award as the ‘Oscars for student employees’, but without the wonderful suits and gowns.


Praise and rewards are a hot-button issue between the student generation, aka Millennials, and their older Generation X, or Baby Boomer, bosses. Older bosses sometimes find that they can’t understand what motivates millennials to work. The two generations don’t appear to work for the same reasons, and aren’t motivated by the same things like raises, praises, and rewards.


One of the biggest motivators for college students is free food.


At a previous summer internship I was put on a “rush” project. My supervisors found out around noon that they needed the project to start and end in a matter of hours. What would normally have been 2 days of work needed to be done in about 6 hours. I took the project on with the expected amount of trepidation and fear, but I did my best with it and managed to complete it sometime between 7 and 8 that evening, right on schedule.


I was one of the last people to leave that day and my bosses recognized this and rewarded me with lunch later that week when work settled back to a normal pace. I’m an easy going person, so food was a wonderful reward for the work! I had a lovely time at lunch with my boss and 2 other co-workers. It was a real treat to me, and a heartfelt gesture of appreciation that I was happy to accept.

I’m also extremely glad that my parents taught me good table manners.


Being part of a business lunch or dinner has the potential to be the most embarrassing situation imaginable. As a fairly clumsy person, there is always the opportunity for me to spill something, drop something, or just generally embarrass myself. In a dinner situation there is the added factors of not knowing what is acceptable to order, when to order it, what fork to use, and which wine goes with what food (for those ages 21 and older of course). People judge- but for some reason the judgment seems worse when you are sharing a meal!


Are you worried now? Don’t be. I have a solution!

Career Management Services and Enterprise Rent-A-Car are hosting a Business Etiquette Dinner on March 18th at 5:30. The meal is FREE to students, but you must RSVP and come professionally dressed- it is a business dinner after all. RSVP by March 11th through Panther Career Link since seating is limited. There is a $20 price for Faculty, Staff, and Alumni wishing to attend.

This dinner is designed to teach you which fork to use among other important things. After the dinner you’ll be a pro, so when you take the foreign ministers or heads of states out for a dinner, you’ll know which of the 4 forks at your setting to use and which wine to order.

Don’t forget to reserve your seat on Panther Career Link! This will be the most valuable free meal you will ever have!

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