University of Vermont

The Honors College

Anna Post '01 Talks Professional Etiquette with Honors College Students

Professional Development Compass

What do you wear to a networking event? How do you introduce yourself to a potential employer when you are cold-calling for an informational interview? Are there ways to be sure you're not bugging them? What goes into a thank-you note? Should it be handwritten? Finally, how firm is too firm for a handshake?

These were some of the questions that renowned etiquette expert and UVM alumnus Anna Post '01 addressed when she visited the Honors College Professional Development forum on Saturday, October 15. Post is the great-granddaughter of Emily Post (the author and socialite credited with establishing many American etiquette standards during the early 20th century), and has adapted many traditional etiquette standards to meet modern social standards and technological innovations. Post met with Honors College students to discuss the ins and outs of professional etiquette, standards for communication (online and off-line), and how to transition from college to professional culture.

Post's lecture was part of a day-long Honors College Professional Development Forum workshop. In addition to learning about how to make a positive impression in a professional environment, students spent the day meeting with recent Honors College graduates as well as more advanced career alums on how they can prepare themselves to put their best foot forward as they transition from college to life after college. Panelists included former Honors College students Kameron Harris '09, Daniel Lim '09, Dana Gulley '09 and Melissa Martin '08, as well as fellow UVM alums Tim Ashe '99, Christopher Bray '77, Erin Krauss '06, Karen Lightman '91, and Liz Paley '88.

The UVM alumni offered direct advice on how to maximize the college experience to best prepare for the first job after college. Recent alums offered insight into how to find that first post-college job, how to find a niche in a new community, and when to think about pursuing graduate school. Advanced alums shared wisdom on what employers look for from recent college graduates, what sort of internships or other opportunities stand out on a resume, and how to build a support network for finding interesting and engaging jobs after graduation.

The October workshop gave students an idea of how to pair personal presentation with the professional correspondence skills they have been developing through their participation in the Professional Development Forum. Students have also been working on perfecting their resumes, cover letters and other correspondence. Each student participating in the forum also worked directly with a couple of alumni mentors in their field on issues related to matching their academic and other interests to professional opportunities, as well as how to build up experience to becoming a competitive candidate in industries they are interested in. In December, students finished up their forum participation with a business formal dinner hosted by the Honors College.

The Professional Development Forum is a postgraduate advising program for Honors College sophomores, juniors and seniors during the fall semester. The Forum will begin accepting applications for Fall 2012 participants in February.

Last modified January 30 2012 11:38 AM