Anderson said the skills are universal.
“From job interviews, to lunch dates, when they start a new job, to dinner parties when they’re meeting new people, they are absolutely introduced to a little bit of common sense to some social scenarios that they might not have had before,” she said.
Some of the more confusing rules of fine dining were addressed first — cutlery organization, napkin folding and which side a drink belongs on. Erica Gardner, a communications major, said she felt like she got the hang of it.
“I think it changes a little bit, like I think, depending on who I go to dinner with,” she said about how she might encounter a situation where she needed these skills. “Some of these rules definitely apply.”
The rules were unusual to many people, such as different styles of cutting. Gardner said she came out because she’s always enjoyed etiquette dinners.
“I thought it would be fun,” she said. “I always learn something new that I didn’t know, so I just thought it would be kind of cool.”
This dinner is a last step for many seniors in their remaining few weeks before moving on. Gardner is going to a small graduate school in Arkansas.
“It definitely is weird, going into the, quote on quote, ‘real world,’ but no, it’s definitely useful,” she said, “It’ll be good to know, I think we’re going to go out with our professors a lot, and I’ll be in that situation a lot.”
Wednesday night recognized formal skills needed for the real world. Some things were useful, some things, Gardner said, were pretty weird.
“One of the things I learned that I did not know is that you can’t crunch up crackers and put them in your soup,” she said. “Not that you see crackers at really nice restaurants typically, but I wouldn’t have known that.”
Bri Ratte, a health policy and management major, is going straight to work in Atlanta after graduation, but thinks these skills will help her advance at her new job.
“I think it’s good to remind yourself how to conduct yourself at a formal dinner,” she said.
Now that they have this knowledge, seniors can go out into the “real world” with confidence.
“I’m really just excited about the opportunities after graduation,” Ratte said. “It does make it feel more real.”