Jun 17, 2019
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Events promote post-college success tools

Junior liberal studies major Ellyce Parento (left) and senior electrical engineering major Joanna Samana (right) learned how to properly shake hands in a professional dining situation.
Joseph Edgecomb / The Collegian

There is more to getting ahead after college than just developing a stellar resume. Sometimes, it comes down to knowing which dinner fork to use.

This past week, Career Services at Fresno State has been behind two events geared towards preparing college students in their lives ahead, and perhaps more importantly, in their careers after graduation.

The first of these events was the Dining Success Dinner, which was held at the Vintage restaurant on campus Wednesday. The purpose of this program was to teach students proper etiquette in the professional world, especially as it pertains to job interviews.

The second event, scheduled for today, is the all-day Life After College Conference at the Satellite Student Union. This event will feature a variety of sessions and speakers providing helpful tips on the day-to-day management of money, nutrition and other responsibilities students may face after they graduate from Fresno State.

Over 90 were in attendance at Wednesday’s Dining Success Dinner. Rita Bocchinfuso-Cohen, director of Career Services, spoke at length on the dos and don’ts of proper dining etiquette as the Vintage staff served full course meals to those in attendance.

“Many times, part of your work functions will include meal interviews,” said Bocchinfuso-Cohen, who added that this aspect of any job may come as a surprise to many students. “You’re being evaluated even during meals.”

During the course of the dinner, Bocchinfuso-Cohen answered many questions such as how to position soup on a spoon so it will not spill over the edge, or in which direction is it proper to pass salt and pepper. Many of those present were catching themselves in even the slightest of mistakes.

“I kept going to the food instead of bringing it to me,” said freshman Feliciano Joya, who was pleased learn which fork to use for the which dishes.

Some students reaped direct and relevant benefits from the event. Malyna Cha, a senior majoring in human resource management, was on edge about an upcoming dinner interview with Foster Farms until she heard about the Dining Success Dinner.

“I’ve been to business interviews before and I didn’t know what I was supposed to be doing,” Cha said. “Now I’m more confident.”

Friday’s event, the Life After College Conference, was conceived of by the Senior Experience committee, a collaboration of various departments with an interest on how to help students best prepare for their lives after education. This will be the first program of its kind at Fresno State.

The idea for the conference was devised after the results came in on a student survey late last year. The survey suggested the need for a program that would impart some basic skills to students for use in the world outside of college.

“About 450 responded positively,” said Kristin Layous of Career Services who is coordinating the event. “We took their [students] feedback into consideration.”

Several Fresno State alumni, business owners, publishers and others will be speaking on issues such as networking, stress management, buying a house and coping with situations on the job. At 1:15 p.m., Mervyns will be sponsoring a fashion show displaying winning wardrobes on a limited budget.

Luann Alemeo, the keynote speaker, is the owner of the consulting firm Luann Alemeo and Associates, as well as an author and producer of the news magazine cooking show, “Get Fit.” She will be offering tips on socializing and good eating habits.

Jen Besse, co-founder of Compass and Cap will be providing a booklet entitled “Life After School Explained,” which is designed to help students lay out a plan for their futures.

The conference will begin at 10 a.m. and continue until 4:30 p.m. although students are not required to attend for every session.

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