The 'Art' of Socializing

The 'Art' of Socializing

When it comes to socializing, college students are pros. But in a business setting, the rules of social interaction can be more complex, and to master them, most need practice.
On Jan. 20, the Barrett Art Gallery, UC Career Services, and the Office of Student Affairs are collaborating to host an Artist and Business Etiquette Reception. The event will coincide with artist Susan Sommer's visit to UC and exhibit in the gallery
“This kind of format for an etiquette event has never been done here at UC before,” says Halina Lotyczewski, director of career services. “Students will learn how to network with the artist, faculty/staff mentors, and their peers by professionally introducing themselves and engaging in appropriate conversations.”
The event is divided into two parts: In the first, students are invited to greet Sommer, whose abstract paintings and monotypes will be on display in the gallery. This part of the event, explains art gallery director Carolynne Whitefeather, is more informal and will feature raffles for prizes, such as gift cards to Sodexho and the UC Bookstore. The informal open house runs from 1-5 p.m.
At 5 p.m., the event becomes a mock business reception, with several UC faculty and staff members acting as mentors. Students are encouraged to circulate around the room and introduce themselves to other guests. Food and beverages will be served, requiring students to practice the (sometimes tricky) art of eating and socializing politely.
Hosting the event in the gallery setting, says Whitefeather, is meant to mimic similar events students might encounter post-graduation.
“Art is one of the largest economic sectors,” she says. “An artist's reception serves as a high-quality setting for people to network and socialize, and it’s a huge benefit for students to have experience in that setting before they graduate.”
Lotyczewski agrees:
“The skills students will learn will have tremendous transferable value. Graduates will find themselves attending business meetings, company holiday parties, and professional association conferences where these skills can make a positive, professional impression.”
The event is open to all UC students. Registration is encouraged, but not required. Register here. 

Planning to attend? Here are some pointers:


  • Dress code is business casual. For men, this does not require a full suit and tie, but a collared shirt, dress pants, sport coat or sweater. For women, this calls for dress pants or skirts, tailored shirts or sweaters paired with tasteful heels or flats. Avoid jeans and sneakers. 
  • Introduce yourself to people you don’t know
  • Be relaxed, but limit conversation to appropriate topics and small talk.
  •  Engage everyone with respect, and do not disregard some in favor of others in the room.
  • Enjoy the food and beverages provided, but mind your manners. Be sure your hands are free (in order to shake hands with new people) and don’t talk with your mouth full.
  • Be present. Cell phones should be set on silent and tucked away.

Learn more about the event here and register here

(315) 792-3006
1600 Burrstone Road | Utica, NY 13502