Rules of Engagement

For the sixth year, business coach and speaker Mary Crane spent a day at the Institute, helping Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) students polish their professionalism. Crane’s visit with the class of 2018 commenced with her dynamic seminar, ‘The Rules of Engagement’ — or what some people call proper business etiquette. She shared stories and lessons learned to illustrate the rules that guide professionals through the tricky waters of networking, meetings, interviews, follow ups, and thank you notes.

Crane, a former White House assistant chef who holds a law degree, emphasized the importance of self-advocacy. “You don’t ask–you don’t get,” she said to the class. “You always shoot as high as you can.”

Following the seminar, students participated in a mock networking reception with the Institute’s faculty and staff playing the roles of prospective employers. Crane offered advice on how everyone — introverts and extroverts alike — can maximize the value of networking events. She told the students, “You are all salespeople, and every one of you has something to sell.”

That evening, students joined industry representatives and Institute alumni, faculty, and staff for a dinner at the NC State University Club. The meal afforded students an opportunity to enjoy friendly conversation while practicing Crane’s rules of engagement in a supportive setting. As diners transitioned between courses, Crane answered questions and provided tips such as which menu items to avoid during an interview lunch and how to handle spills and other blunders as gracefully as possible.

“This is one of my favorite stops every year,” Crane said of the Institute. “It is a delight to interact with a bunch of students who are so interested in succeeding.”

Crane encourages everyone to “always follow up with a thank you.” We thank Mary Crane for her time with the students.

The Institute also thanks our colleagues at Cigna for their generosity in sponsoring this year’s dinner event.

MSA 2018 Etiquette Dinner with Alex, Kiersten, Victoria and Veer