Taking the Next Step

Taking the Next Step 2018

Classes of 2020 and 2021
January 6, 2018
Marriott Marquis Chicago

Taking the Next Step is a one-day, conference-style program early in Winter Quarter that allows first and second-years to explore post-graduation options. College alumni from a variety of industries host panels and lunch roundtables to offer advice, answer questions, and network. Students also have the opportunity to attend workshops and a Career Resource Fair in the afternoon.

Registration for Taking the Next Step will be posted on the College Programming Office's Taking the Next Step website closer to the date.

What to Wear to Taking the Next Step

Business casual attire is required. Below are some guidelines for what constitutes business casual:


  • Business skirt or pants
  • Button down shirt, turtleneck, or sweater
  • Flats, ankle boots, or pumps
  • Blazer or vest is appropriate


  • Dress pants
  • Long-sleeved collared shirt
  • Dark socks
  • Matching belt and shoes
  • NOT expected to wear ties

What is not considered business casual: Jeans, tennis shoes, tight or short skirts, shorts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts.

Business Dining Etiquette

As you move into your job search, you may find that interviewing includes lunch or dinner with members of the organization. Meals serve as an excellent time to exhibit your conversational skills, display poise, reflect attention to detail, reveal an awareness of cultural expectations, and demonstrate a sense of humor and composure. The lunch at Taking the Next Step will provide you with the opportunity to practice dining in a business setting.

Here are some basic etiquette tips to leave a good impression:

  • Begin eating only after everyone has been served.
  • Your drink glasses (including coffee cup) will always be to your right.
  • Pass food to the right.
  • Silverware is used from the outside to the inside. If you use the wrong flatware continue using it and ask your server for a replacement when you need it.
  • Ask those seated around you to pass the food; do not lean over to reach for it.
  • Do not dunk your food.
  • If you leave the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair.
  • Butter should never be placed directly on your roll. Put it first on your bread plate or dinner plate.
  • Avoid putting used cutlery back on the table; place it on your plate instead.
  • Your napkin should not be placed on the table until the meal has ended and you are ready to leave the meal.
  • Purses, keys, gloves, etc. should never be placed on the table.
  • Avoid putting your elbows on the table.

How to Recover from Dining Calamities

  • If you spill something, do not make a big deal out of it. Blot it with your napkin and ask for another.
  • If you spill something on someone else, apologize and offer to pay for the dry cleaning. Let the other person handle the wiping and blotting.
  • Never call attention to the dining mistakes of others or be overly apologetic about your own.