Manchester University
Oak Leaves

February 26, 2016
Career Closet graphic

Career Closet Helps Students 'Dress to Impress'

Karen Kanyike

With the Career and Internship Fair just around the corner in March, students are looking for professional attire, which is usually very expensive and difficult to obtain in a rural community. Where can students find affordable, professional options?

The Office of Career and Professional Development hosted its second annual Career Closet, an event that ran from Feb. 15–19 in the Jo Young Switzer Center, upper level. “The Career Closet is a week-long opportunity for students to come to the JYS Center to get free, professional clothing,” said one of the student assistants, Donnie Watkins, a senior communication studies major from Kokomo, Ind. “The Career Closet is in preparation for the Career and Internship Fair that will take place in March.”

The idea for this clothing giveaway was devised by Erica Graphman, former career and professional development intern and now social media content specialist in Admissions. “In order to be successful at the Career and Internship Fair, it is important to look and dress professionally,” Watkins said. “We recognized that some students did not have the means or funds to obtain professional clothing, so we wanted to find a way to provide them with the necessary tools for success.”

A good number of students took advantage of this event. Within the first day, over 50 students went to choose clothing they needed. The student assistants usually take on the task of organizing the clothing and attending to the customer’s needs. This year, it was Watkins’ turn to coordinate this event. All of the clothes were donations from faculty, staff and community members.

Curtis Stump, a sophomore pre-pharmacy major from Boggstown, Ind., was pleased with the idea of the career closet. “It’s a great way for students who need professional dress to get it without paying hundreds of dollars,” he said.

This is the second time the Office of Career and Professional Development is hosting this event. The reviews and student responses last year were quite positive. “We were not sure how the event would go, but it turned out to be very successful,” Watkins said. “After analysis of last year’s event, we were able to figure out what needed to be improved. This year, we were able to provide more clothes, as well as more variety. Even though the clothes were donated and we could not choose the sizes we wanted, we still received a large variety of sizes, colors and styles.”