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Thin Business Sparty

6 Etiquette Tips You Can’t Ignore from MBP Professional Dinner

January 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm

By Emily Reyst

Do the forks go on the left or the right? Where should I put my napkin if I leave the table? These were just a few of the simple, but often overlooked, questions answered at the Broad College of Business’ Professional Dinner, hosted by the Multicultural Business Program’s Native American & Hispanic Business Students (NAHBS). The second annual event was taken to the next level by incorporating both case study practice and professional dinner etiquette — two themes that are often not combined at professional development events.

“This was a great opportunity for underclassmen students,” said senior marketing major Meagan Cortez, president of NAHBS. “Most don’t get the chance to work on a case study until they’re in the business school. Being able to practice analytical skills, gain hands on experience, and talk to recruiters is invaluable for them.”

After the case study competition presentations and the winning team announced, the evening progressed with a presentation from keynote speaker Whitney Anderson-Harrell, vice president of sales and financial education at MSUFCU. Anderson-Harrell addressed the very important, often forgotten, rules of business over food. Whether it be an interview or business meeting, lunch or dinner, it didn’t matter. What it resulted in was a completely new mindset for many students. What were some of their takeaways?

  1. “It’s not about the food. I now realize it’s more about how you present yourself. They want to see how you’re acting when multi-tasking, regardless of the situation you’re in.” -Wesley Ho (BA Finance ‘18).
  1. “Don’t take a doggie bag home.” -Nico Rodriguez (BA Accounting ‘18).
  1. “Follow your host, and keep that in mind the whole time. Pay attention to what they’re ordering, and the price range they’re ordering in.” – Hannah Ahluwala (BA Finance ‘19).
  1. “Even though I know this seems like common sense, it’s still important to remember to chew with your mouth closed before speaking.” -Moeka Yamamoto (BA Business Preference ‘20).
  1. “How to deal with the bread thing. You have to tear off a section at a time, and butter it as you eat. Everything is done with care and time. It’s not about the food, but the social setting.” -Nathaniel Feige (BA Finance ‘19 and Fundraising Chairman of NAHBS).
  1. “Pacing is important! I’m a really slow eater, and some people eat super fast. It’s subtle things like these that aren’t going to bother people day to day, but may be misconstrued in a business setting.” -Meagan Cortez (BA Marketing ‘17)

Other must-know tips from Anderson-Harrell: always wait for your host in the lobby before sitting; understand what the correct place setting is (forks on the left, knives on the right); leave your napkin in its main fold on your lap; leave that napkin on your chair, not the table, if you get up; ask the host what they recommend, don’t spend time studying the menu; don’t order something super complicated; for every two drinks your host orders, order one; don’t order alcohol;  remember your manners, and a thank you note goes a long way.

The most important thing to remember, however, is to keep moving forward even if you mess up.

Student at table
Students collaborated on a case competition prior to dinner.

NAHBS event signage
The highly attended annual event packed the room at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center.

NAHBS board and Thin Sparty
Thin Business Sparty found a seat at the table with NAHBS Board members.

Sparty in Argentina

April 29, 2016 at 1:18 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty accompanied Executive MBA students to Argentina for Broad’s EMBA Global Residency Program. Here he is with Eric Swanson (left) and Ken Whitley (right) at an “Experience Argentina” event in Buenos Aires.

Eric Swanson (left) and Ken Whitley (right) with Thin Business Sparty at an "Experience Argentina" event in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 29 as part of the Broad's EMBA Global Residency Program.


Sparty in Portland

March 11, 2016 at 10:42 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty is on vacation in the Pacific Northwest with alumna Anna Spindler (’93). Her note:

“We had breakfast this morning at one of my favorite places in Portland, Oregon, called Besaw’s. I worked here after college for a short time in 1995. Since then, the owners and the location have changed, but the food is still hearty, healthy, and down-right fabulous. Here is Sparty with the owner Cana, who has expanded Besaw’s over the last 10 years without losing its small-town, personable feel. Sparty and I both agree that Besaw’s is well worth a visit if any other Spartans are on the West Coast.”

Thin Business Sparty with Besaw's owner Cana Thin Business Sparty with Besaw's menu


Sparty Visits Wolverines?

February 28, 2016 at 2:55 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty joined a group of MBA students in visiting a group of young women at Wolverine Human Services Vassar House Facility, a highly specialized therapeutic treatment program.

MBA students at the Broad College of Business, Rose Glendinning, Brittany Young, Landy Lin, and Melody Buckley at WHS.
Broad College of Business MBA students Rose Glendinning, Brittany Young, Landy Lin, and Melody Buckley at WHS.

Sparty in Thailand

February 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty joined Anna Spindler (BA Marketing ’93), a founding mother of Phi Chi Theta, on a business trip to Bangkok, Thailand.

Thin Business Sparty on a plane in front of an issue of the Bangkok Post Thin Business Sparty and Anna Spindler on a plane

They visited one of the United Nations buildings there…

Thin Business Sparty in front of the sign for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Thin Business Sparty in front of a colorful flowering plant with the flags of the United Nations office visible in the background

…and checked out the view from the 51st floor of the Bangkok Convention Center at CentralWorld.

Thin Business Sparty in front of the Bangkok skyline


Sparty at the SCM Career Fair

January 28, 2016 at 5:11 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty joins alumnus Ryan Goodrich at today’s Supply Chain Management Career Fair as he comes home to MSU to start a new relationship between Bayer and the Broad College.

Thin Business Sparty in front of the Bayer logo


Sparty Visits Antwerp

January 19, 2016 at 4:04 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty joined Jerry Behar (BA Accounting ’79), a member of the Department of Accounting and Information Systems advisory board and managing director of Nissim Capital, on a trip to Antwerp, Belgium.

They visited the Cathedral of Our Lady, which was started in 1352 and took 169 years for construction of the first stage to be complete, and the Brabo fountain. According to folklore, a Roman soldier named Brabo severed and threw the hand of the giant, Antigoon, into the Scheldt River. This statue in front of the town hall celebrates the legend, which is by some accounts the origin of the name Antwerp: from hand (hand) werpen (to throw).

Thin Business Sparty and Jerry Behar by the Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp, Belgium Thin Business Sparty and Jerry Behar by the Brabo Fountain in Antwerp, Belgium


Sparty Heads to the Cotton Bowl

December 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Thin Business Sparty had the opportunity to join Allegra Johnson (BA Hospitality Business ’91), a member of The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association Appointed Board of Directors, for the Spartans’ appearance in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic BCS Playoff Semifinal. Here they are at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas, prior to the game.

Allegra Johnson and Thin Business Sparty in front of a MSU photo-taking backdrop


Sparty Experiences SusieCakes

October 20, 2015 at 4:34 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty and Curtis Lease (BA Hospitality Business ’91) visited SusieCakes Bakery in southern California for some tasty treats.

Curtis Lease, Thin Business Sparty, and a SusieCakes Bakery bag or two Thin Business Sparty, some SusieCakes Bakery bags, and a big cookie

SusieCakes was founded by Houston Striggow (BA Hotel and Restaurant Management ’75), who was recently presented a 2014–2015 Broad College Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award.


Sparty, Izzo, and Restaurateurs

October 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, staff, and alumni as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty visited the Michigan Restaurant Show at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi and saw Coach Izzo deliver the keynote address. Izzo offered his advice on team building, recruiting, handling stress, and how to work with a diverse group of people in the professional world. Here they are with alumni board members from The School of Hospitality Business Kevin Swanquist (BA ’08) and Ben Schwartz (BA ’72).

Kevin Swanquist, Thin Business Sparty, MSU Men's Basketball Coach Tom Izzo, and Ben Schwartz at the Michigan Restaurant Show


Honoring an Outstanding HB Alumnus

October 2, 2015 at 2:25 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty joined the annual Board of Directors meeting of The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association over Homecoming at the Kellogg Center, watching as Houston Striggow (BA ’75) was presented with the distinguished Broad College Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award by Dean Gupta.

Houston Striggow, Dean Gupta, and Thin Business Sparty

He got the chance to pose with the dean; Chuck Day (BA ’91), association president; and Mike Rice (BA ’91), association vice president…

Chuck Day (BA '91), The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association President; Dean Gupta; Mike Rice (BA '91) The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association Vice President; and Thin Business Sparty

…and later with the whole association.

The School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association Board of Directors with Thin Business Sparty


Joining the Hospitality Alumni Board Meeting

October 2, 2015 at 1:24 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty made it to the annual alumni board of directors meeting for The School of Hospitality Business. Here he is on a break with Brad Cance (BA ’89), general manager/COO of Bethesda Country Club, and Art Davis (BA ’88), director of finance for the Four Seasons Nevis resort.

Brad Cance and Art Davis at the annual School of Hospitality Business board of directors meeting


Sparty and the Board

October 2, 2015 at 11:45 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


This morning Sparty is attending Broad’s alumni board meeting!

Thin Business Sparty at the alumni board meeting


Visiting FMI Board Member

September 16, 2015 at 6:57 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty and Dean Gupta enjoy an evening at the home of avid Spartan alumnus Brian Van Elslander (BA Accounting ’87) in Darien, CT. Brian is a member of the executive committee of the Financial Markets Institute board and a managing director and head of financial sponsors at Wells Fargo Securities in New York.

Thin Business Sparty with Dean Gupta and Brian Van Elslander


Leaving on a Train

September 16, 2015 at 6:13 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty was up bright and early to join a Railway Management Certificate Program group field trip about to set off from Washington Union station to Wilmington, Delaware, in Amtrak’s “American View” inspection/theatre car.

Railway Management Certificate Program group field trip about to set off from Washington Union station


Visiting Amazon

September 2, 2015 at 1:03 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty is traveling with Geoffrey Humphrys, Vern Mason, and Ashley Batteen of the Lear Corporation Career Services Center to Seattle, Washington, to visit Amazon.

Thin Business Sparty at Amazon


Sparty in the Land of Java

September 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty is traveling with Geoffrey Humphrys, Vern Mason, and Ashley Batteen of the Lear Corporation Career Services Center to Seattle, Washington, to visit Starbucks headquarters.

Thin Business Sparty at Starbucks Headquarters in Seattle, WA


I Am Sparty. No, I Am Sparty.

August 28, 2015 at 3:30 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels here. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


So many Sparties made an appearance at the Broad College’s fall faculty meeting.

Thin Business Sparties abound at the fall 2015 faculty meeting


Pizza & Double Vision on Wall Street

July 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty and his stunt double joined Helen Dashney, director of the Financial Markets Institute (FMI), and some of the FMI scholars working on Wall Street for pizza and conversation during a break from their 100-hour work weeks.

Thin Business Sparty, Helen Dashney, and FMI scholars enjoy pizza


Sparty and Deans at Deloitte University

July 29, 2015 at 10:10 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


This morning, Sparty is visiting the second annual Deans’ Summit at Deloitte University with Dean Gupta and Nancy Vella, director at Deloitte’s Detroit office.

Thin Business Sparty at Deloitte University (tagline: The Leadership Center)

Nancy Vella, Thin Business Sparty, and Dean Gupta at Deloitte University


Strategizing at the Gum Wall

July 21, 2015 at 8:55 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Dean Gupta and Thin Business Sparty have made it to the Gum Wall in Seattle as they visit to strategize with architects on the new new facility.

Dean Gupta and Thin Business Sparty at the Gum Wall in Seattle, Washington, USA


Strategic partnerships in India

June 30, 2015 at 12:44 pm

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty is traveling with Dean Gupta, International Business Center head Tomas Hult, and others today to discuss strategic partnerships with the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.

Thin Business Sparty with Dean Gupta, Tomas Hult, and representatives of IIM Bangalore


Annual meeting of international business researchers

June 28, 2015 at 10:05 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


This morning Sparty is attending the Academy of International Business Annual Meeting sessions in Bangalore, India, with Dean Gupta and a team from the Broad College.

Thin Business Sparty in front of a sign for the Academy of International Business 2015 Annual Conference, June 27-30, 2015 Thin Business Sparty and Dean Gupta in front of a sign for the Academy of International Business 2015 Annual Conference, June 27-30, 2015


International business in Bangalore

June 28, 2015 at 5:56 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty is in Bangalore with Dean Gupta and a team from MSU’s International Business Center, hosting the 56th Academy of International Business Annual Meeting for 900 researchers from around the world.

Thin Business Sparty and team putting on AIB annual meeting


Witnessing history

June 26, 2015 at 10:53 am

“Thin Business Sparty” is traveling the world with Broad College students, faculty, and staff this summer as they pursue study abroad, research, and other means of making business happen globally. Follow his travels. Going on a trip yourself? Recruit your own Thin Business Sparty.


Sparty made it to the U.S. Supreme Court in time to witness the response to the historic Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that made same-sex marriage legal across the United States.

Thin Business Sparty in front of the U.S. Supreme Court