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Downie Discusses Table Manner Class For Business Students

Before hitting the books this week, the University of Iowa's newest batch of MBA candidates got a crash course in table manners. As part of their orientation program, 62 new students at the university's Tippie College of Business learned the proper way to eat dinner rolls, twirl pasta and eat soup without spilling down their shirts. School administrators say good grades, impressive resumes and bright ideas are essential to landing jobs after graduation. But they also say firm handshakes, making small talk and impeccable table manners are also important to wheeling and dealing in the business world. In the next 21 months, students will immerse themselves in learning business fundamentals, corporate financing and other business subjects. But school officials say their mission in teaching the next generation of executives is much broader. Assistant Dean COLLEEN DOWNIE says the program also emphasizes team-building and developing leadership skills. And that approach appears to be paying dividends. Last week, Forbes magazine ranked Tippie Number 12 among the nation's graduate business colleges, up from Number 26 in 2003. The station is based in Moline, Ill.

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