Get Fancy with Cathy Frost

Written by: Julian Paredes

The students of the Entrepreneur Mentor Program were happy to welcome Cathy Frost for a presentation on proper dining etiquette last Friday. Frost is the President of BennettFrost Personnel Services. Her business is a full-service executive staffing company and has served the valley for 21 years.

Frost has had a long career in multiple fields and has always found a role in serving the local community. As an entrepreneur, she preaches respect for others above everything else. When she began her life as a business owner she benefited from having a mentor of her own. She loves to return the favor to the EMP students of Fresno State.

Frost says that proper etiquette is an often overlooked, yet vital, aspect of being an entrepreneur.

“Etiquette makes you a professional,” Frost said during her presentation. “When they are followed, it sets you apart from the rest.”

Good table manners are more than just knowing which utensils to use and how to properly shake someone’s hand. How you carry yourself during dinner establishes the image you present to others. A failure to exercise good manners or an error in propriety can ruin a business deal or a chance at a job. Frost said how you carry yourself during dinner is a large part of the interview process. Good etiquette and the image you portray can be the difference between success and failure.

“When you’re eating in a formal setting,” Frost said. “A lot of these rules help slow down the conversation.”

The little details of how to properly eat a piece of bread may seem pedantic at first glance, but it can be indicative of how you carry yourself in your everyday life. Your pace shows others you are careful and meticulous with the way you conduct business. A cool demeanor shows you aren't impulsive and good etiquette can also be a useful conversation technique.

“It isn’t your last supper. It’s more important for the conversation to continue at the table than your guest watching you fight with a piece of food,” Frost said.

Conversation is one of the most powerful tools of the entrepreneur. An ability to speak well and convey information is essential to being successful. A dinner might just be the most important time for conducting business.

Friday's presentation was more of an exercise in presenting our best image to others. This is important in all facets of our lives, not just as entrepreneurs.

College students are not typically known for their good decorum. This is why Friday's presentation was so useful to us. We walked away with many valuable techniques now separating us from other young adults. The image we now present to others after Friday is one of professionalism, not of a college student.

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