Event gives ECU students a professional edge in the job market

An event aimed at giving East Carolina University students an edge in the job market will test the etiquette skills of 40 young men and women on Friday, Feb. 22.

Seonna Dixon, left, and Breanna Dean interact at the 2012 Outclass the Competition event on campus. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Seonna Dixon, left, and Breanna Dean interact at the 2012 Outclass the Competition event on campus. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Outclass the Competition, a full day of activities centered on learning business protocol and professional etiquette, begins at 9 a.m. at the East Carolina Heart Institute on the health sciences campus. This is the second year ECU has hosted the event.

“It provides a solid foundation of professionalism that will set our students apart,” said organizer Mandee Foushee Lancaster, who also serves as director of both the Center for Survey Research and the Shelton Leadership Challenge at ECU. “In this climate, it’s important to give them an edge.”

Lancaster said that with practice, and guided by events like Outclass the Competition, students can be sure “employers are focusing on their qualifications, and not the way that they’re dressed or holding their fork.”

The skills can also benefit those applying for graduate school, as they may have to complete interviews for admittance or scholarships.

This year’s event features workshops on making the right first impressions through body language and conversation, networking and building relationships, workplace professionalism, table manners, and doing business in other countries and with the military. The day ends at 6 p.m.

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