Last Thursday, the Leadership Advancement Program sponsored a seminar titled, “Trading Backpacks for Briefcases – A Guide to Etiquette and Professionalism.” Jason Scott Embry, the Executive Director of Development here at Rose-Hulman, led the discussion for students on having positive professional business interactions.

Embry is new to Rose-Hulman this year, and his work mainly involves fundraising activities. Through his employment at other institutions and his work with the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, he garnered significant respect for etiquette through all his interpersonal foundations.

He informed the audience of classic marks of professionalism, like keeping shoes shined and placing napkins in your lap during dinner, along with a short history of modern eccentricities. Embry also discussed the importance of etiquette in hiring decisions – a simple, professional business card, a handwritten thank you note, and other small gestures can significantly set candidates apart.

Most importantly, he stressed his ‘Rules Never to Be Broken,’ such as being sincere, considerate, respectful, and honest. Embry stressed that following these core principles is essential to all interpersonal communication. While permissible to not have memorized an exhaustive amount of information regarding the nuances of etiquette, but breaking any one of these rules will likely not fare well in the end.

Attendees found the seminar engaging and informative; the question and answer section following the main lecture lasted twice as long as predicted, and students found him to be a useful resource.

Embry’s seminar is among a series of seminars and events sponsored by the Leadership Academy to promote effective leadership in Rose-Hulman graduates.

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