Lessons in Professional Etiquette

Lessons in Professional Etiquette
Posted on 09/27/2017
Proper Handshake

Once again, community members went above and beyond to support SHS students in their effort to learn several skills related to professionalism.  As juniors and seniors began to file into the fieldhouse, nearly 40 community volunteers and additional high school staff greeted the students, and set out to teach professional etiquette skills, including a firm handshake, eye contact, the art of networking and how to tie a tie.

Working in groups of two to five students with one adult in each, the event kicked off with networking, and time was spent discussing the importance of professional etiquette.  Firm handshakes ensued, with the ever-important addition of good eye contact.  Once students seemed to grasp the concepts, it was time to move onto the tie tying tutorial phase of the morning. 

Principal Elli Wiemers gathered everyone and introduced one of the community volunteers, Tom Manley, who demonstrated the importance of looking the part and dressing respectfully.  Students were then directed to head to the tables, and each selected a tie from the colorful collection.  Gathering back into their groups, the tying lesson began.  With a bit of laughter and lots of determination, the students grasped the concept and proudly displayed their newfound skill.

Larry Harden of Williams and Company thought the experience seemed successful, and said, “I had five gentlemen, and they were very nice.  They were interested in learning.  Their aspirations later in life are different, but we all talked a little bit about how important all of these fundamentals are for any walk of life that you go into.”  Harden said that the tying of the ties will need some work and practice, and he concluded by saying, “They are great young people, and it was fun to share this experience with them.”

With tremendous support from the community, spilling out across the state, and even crossing borders into other states, well over 300 ties were donated, with more arriving daily.   Because of the overabundance, Mrs. Wiemers announced that students could go back and select an additional tie to keep for their professional wardrobe.  When asked about the experience, senior Quinn Hussey said, “I learned how to tie a tie and properly introduce yourself, with a good handshake and eye contact, to make sure that you present yourself well.”  He believes it will help prepare him for the future.  Sharing those same sentiments, Gregory Olson, a junior,  believes the skills will be beneficial for future opportunities in the job force and as he pursues culinary school after graduating from high school.

Shortly after a group picture, students headed back to their homerooms, where some could be seen teaching others how to tie a tie as well.  “The support for the project was overwhelming, but honestly not surprising.  Our community is always willing to help, especially when kids are involved.  We look forward to making this an annual event, along with other professional skill-building exercises for all students at SHS,” said Liz Kluver, SHS Career Coordinator and event organizer. Throughout the morning, additional professionalism activities were being completed for all SHS students, with an overall goal of preparing the entire student body with practical skills necessary for life after high school.