Essentials of Professional Etiquette

We are already at that time of the year where many of our fellow School of Public Health (SPH) students will graduate in about a month and step into new chapters of their lives. Transitioning from an academic setting to a professional one can be daunting. In particular, how can one maintain proper professional etiquette as a fresh graduate? Having workplace ethics reduces stress, promotes teamwork and increases productivity. Luckily, for you, we have pulled up some strategies and advice on how you can nail the essentials of professional etiquette.

Kimberly Ecenbarger


I wish to also thank Kimberly Ecenbarger, the Associate Director of Career Services in SPH, for having shared her wisdom and advice on this piece. On a side note, she is awesome as a career coach and she has office hours from 2 to 4 pm every Wednesday.



Practice as From Now

Even as a student, you can practice exemplary workplace etiquette. Whether it is among your colleagues at school, in the fraternity or sorority organization you frequently socialize or in a classroom, being mindful in order to be the best version of yourself goes a long way. It speaks volumes about yourself as an individual. Hence, getting into the right mindset early on is a must!



The first thing an employer or co-worker notices when they first meet you is your appearance and attire. Every organization has its own dress code and style but in most cases, business professional attire is required. Be sure to check out our tips for proper professional attire.




Not being on time shows lack of respect for the other person’s time and for the commitment you made. Unpreventable incidents occur, but it is still important to leave the organization a note ahead. If you find yourself in such a situation, it is best to let the person know beforehand of your tardiness and to make it up to the other person if there is anything which you can do.


Intellectual Maturity

Whether you are attending college or graduate school, developing intellectual maturity should be on your agenda. While getting your degree is important, but along the process of doing so, challenge yourself in every class you take, ask yourself questions, think with an open mind, engage yourself in curricular and co-curricular activities to foster your personal growth. In order to become an independent learning professional, one must be self-directed, self-motivated and commit to the completion of desired tasks and goals.

Mutual Respect and Teamwork

Building on mutual respect among workers in an organization lays the foundation for long-term professional relationships. Some of the values which go hand in hand with mutual respect are being courteous, showing appreciation for others’ work, and giving support to each other.



Positive Attitude

Having a positive attitude is a plus in any sphere of life. Issues are bound to arise at your workplace, and having the strength and the patience to deal with them is an important trait of a successful professional. Developing good rapport with your colleagues is essential since in these situations, reaching out to your colleagues to come up with solutions can be beneficial. Moreover, accepting criticism gracefully and being able to work on your mistakes are all part of maintaining a positive attitude.

Maintaining proper professional etiquette is a learning process. Setting a professional tone to your workplace environment and most importantly, to your behavior ensures success and productivity. If you have any doubts or questions, do not hesitate to get in touch with our career coaches who have years of experience and advice to share.


Trishnee is a second year PhD student in Health Behavior. She was born and raised in Mauritius. Her hobbies include cooking, knitting, gardening, reading romantic novels, and playing with her pets. You can reach her at

By Trishnee Bhurosy
Trishnee Bhurosy Student Ambassador - Blog Editor