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JU Career Development Center hosts Mayor’s program for youths on business etiquette Thursday, May 17

 By Phillip Milano

Don’t talk with your mouth full. Stop fidgeting so much. Put on some clean socks. 

Advice (or scolding) we all heard from Mom and Dad, and still relevant in today’s world of business etiquette. But it’s just the start. After all, our parents didn’t have status updates, tweets and texts to deal with. 

Devan Coughlin, director of the Jacksonville University Career Development Center

The Jacksonville University Career Development Center is hosting about 15 participants of Mayor Alvin Brown’s Leaders in Training Program on Thursday, May 17, in the Davis College of Business. They’ll receive training during a workshop on business attire, personal branding and business dining etiquette, according to Devan Coughlin, director of the center. 

“Lots of companies are now asking for your passwords to your Facebook or Twitter accounts,” said Coughlin, whose center helped coordinate logistics for the event and promote it to students citywide. “Are we saying you can’t have fun in college? No. But think twice about putting that information out there. The first thing employers do now is Google your name. Be aware of your web footprint.” 

That’s just some of the advice participants will hear at the workshop, designed to offer guidance to Jacksonville college students in their summer internships. Students will be on hand from JU, the University of North Florida, Edward Waters College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Keiser University, the University of Phoenix and Nova Southeastern. 

The program is administered by the Mayor’s Office of Public Private Partnerships and is governed by an Advisory Council from each of the schools, the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Worksource and CSX. 

“The students can take some real workplace skills from this and incorporate them into their on-site internships, and also back in their classrooms,” Coughlin said. 

The training was developed by CSX and is being delivered by volunteers from their Jacksonville office. Students submitted applications to the program, and the Advisory Council made selections.

The program will include lectures and hands-on activities, including a demonstration in which students learn proper dining etiquette using the correct place settings, utensils, etc. 

“So much of job-seeking is about your personal brand, not just your resume,” Coughlin noted. “It’s about how you conduct yourself. Hey, if you are in a professor’s class and your cell goes off and you take the call, how does that echo into your personal band? You may have a great resume, but if you’re seen as someone who doesn’t have that level of professionalism, that will be noticed.” 

Presenters include Lillie Vereen, Community Liaison Coordinator at Eugene Butler Middle School; Matrell Sanders, a human resources professional with CSX; Kenneth James Jr., a market manager for CSX; and Sondra Bryant-McClendon, a project manager with CSX. 

“There will be lots of things for students to think about,” Coughlin said. “It’s exciting to have a Fortune 500 company like CSX presenting this information. It’s outstanding.”