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School Administration graduate students polish their professional etiquette skills

Etiquette event
Students in the Master of Arts in School Administration Program role play during professional etiquette training event

Wade Auman approached Marlane Mowitz with confidence, but not overly aggressive. He offered a warm smile, while extending his right hand.

With a firm grip, the UNC Pembroke graduate student introduced himself as the director of secondary education with Montgomery County Schools.  

“That was great,” Mowitz said. “You made eye contact and were very engaging throughout your introduction.

“You nailed it!”

The role play scenario was among many played out during a business etiquette training offered to 25 students in the Master of Arts in School Administration Program.

Students were treated to a formal dinner in the Chancellor’s Dining Room where they got a chance to polish their professional etiquette skills. The session was led by Mowitz, director of the university’s Career Center, who detailed the proper dining etiquette, appearance, handshake and how to introduce yourself in a business setting.

“Our goal is that the students will be able network, carry on a small chat and know how to dine in a formal dining setting,” Mowitz said. “We know that most employers incorporate dining in the final interview, so we want to build their confidence and build on their professional and dining etiquette skills so they will be fully prepared.”

Auman and fellow grad student Kirk Watts made the 65-minute drive from their hometown of Biscoe to polish their skills.

“It was very informative,” Auman said afterward. “It does give us a foundational knowledge of some of the cues that future employers are going to be looking for. You have to pay attention to the very finite details because that’s what these people are looking for whenever we are going in for interviews.”

As a teacher at Montgomery County Early College, Watts rarely wears a suit to work.

“I am more of the relaxed-type,” he said. “So this was a chance to put on the suit that I normally don’t wear, since I’ve been in the classroom for so many years.

“As an administrator, I would have a chance to wear a suit more often and interact with more professionals. This training gave me the opportunity to work on introducing myself and being prepared for that role.”

The MSA students are studying to become principals and currently completing a year-long internships of which the etiquette training is a requirement. Upon graduation, the students will receive a principal’s license in addition to their graduate degree. The majority of the students who participated in the training are scheduled to graduate in May.

Other MSA program faculty members in attendance were Dr. Olivia Oxendine, program director, Dr. Gerald Neal and Dr. Camille Goins.

Etiquette image

Students in the Master of Arts in School Administration pose with faculty members after a recent training seminar