Virginia Baker Long, a professor in the School of Business, was a favorite of mine. In her Office Management and Business Letter Writing classes she included the importance of table etiquette when dining with upper management executives and being interviewed for a job while dining. Poor table manners could make or break a job offer. No other class in the School of Business mentioned the importance of table manners, the importance of proper introductions, or the importance of writing a thank-you note after a courtesy had been extended. She also emphasized the importance of the kind of stationery and note cards that one used – it could speak volumes about a person.
Mrs. Long was strong on using the word, “you,” rather than “I” and taught the significance of opening the first paragraph of a business letter with “you” or “your”- not “I.” Always put the emphasis on the other person or company rather than yourself. This lady had “class” and she wanted her students to develop an appreciation for top performance and achievement in all walks of life. Mrs. Long was very strict, but always fair.
All of these lessons have been helpful to me throughout life in the business world as well as in my personal life. This lady had “class” – for sure – and she tried diligently to teach her students to enter the working world with “class” and to represent SMU well!