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What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats?

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What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 07:29
It is that time of the year again when the Students in MBA programs travel across the world for their International projects and Schools schedule Coffee Chats and Winter Socials with them for the prospective students. Hence my Question.

I have registered for Coffee Chats with current students of a few schools and the venues are the Restaurants and Wineries Across my city (Delhi, India). So, Please educate me on the Social Protocol for those Chats.

I know the basics that be polite and respectful. And have a few questions.

But, How about the Clothing? They have mentioned - Causal/Business Casual and I have no idea what Business Casual is.
Plus, is it all right to order liqueur? Who pays for the bill?

Please also suggest other things that I have not recounted.

I'd appreciate learning about the grammatical errors in my posts

Please hit Kudos If my Solution helps

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Re: What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats?  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 08:21
Ha-ha. The schools have definitely not taken into account some regional and local diversity into their coffee chat concept.

Here are a few tips:
1. Business Casual means slacks (that means pants that are not jeans but not black suit pants either - something in the middle and a shirt. A nice Polo shirt can work if it works but a dress shirt would be preferrable for most). No tie. You can wear a sports coat if it is cold or a sweater over the shirt. You would wear shoes (not sports shoes or sneakers but black/brown leather shoes)

2. Business Casual refers to clothing you would wear to work but not something you would be uncomfortable in - i.e. no tie and no suit - those tend to be very formal. You can definitely wear them to the meet but you would stand out a bit too much and that may be a misunderstood move.

3. You want to stick to coffee, juice, sparkling water, or tea unless the person you are meeting orders a beer first. I am sure some cultures may be more susceptible to alcohol (i.e. germany or france) while others may not appreciate it. The main reason to being conservative is that you don't want to make your chat buddy uncomfortable or judge you too early in the meeting/conversation. Some people don't drink for example. You can work a drink into your conversation - e.g. I have had a long day and I can really use a beer - would you like one too?

4. In terms of paying - you would split it in half usually. These bend to be school-sponsored and but the right thing is to depart equals or to kindly offer to pick up the tab since the other person has graciously spent their time with you. I would not make a big deal out of it but would work into a conversation such as "This has been a great evening and I really appreciate the opportunity to meet you, can I pick up the tab?" and then they can say - don't worry about it, it is all on school's dime, which is great but you don't want to come off assuming that or imposing again.

In other words - you want to be a polite guest who would want to be invited again :-)

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Re: What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 20:50
I would add to the above:

- if you are meeting during the day time obviously the order would be coffee or tea. If you are attending a social event that takes place at a bar in the evening it is ok to order alcohol but I would stick to beer or wine and I would have one drink only (drink slowly)

- as mentioned above dress neatly and according to the social customs of where you live. Try not to appear over or underdressed.

- the main thing I would focus on is what you will say during this encounter. You should prepare both a few sentence elevator pitch on your own experience and goals, and several good questions you can ask the school representative. Good questions are things that you can't easily discover online. By asking questions that are easily found online, you put yourself in a category of people that look like they are still exploring. You increase your chances of being noticed in a positive way if you present yourself as someone who has done some research and is taking this opportunity to ask questions that only someone with personal experience with the school would be able to answer.

If you'd like some suggestions on specific questions to ask feel free to reach out.


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Re: What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats? &nbs [#permalink] 12 Dec 2017, 20:50
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What is Social Protocol for Coffe Chats?

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