23 October 2018
For the benefit of students looking for professional clothing to wear, whether at a job interview or career fair, the UCCS Career Center now has a clothes closet open in Cragmor Hall.
The Career Center adopted this idea from the College of Business. According to Megan Stidd, who is the program director of the Career Development Center in the college, the Career Center took charge of the closet in the beginning of fall semester. “We ran out of space. We moved the clothes closet to the Career center because they have more space available, and so that it can be open campus wide, not just to the students in the College of Business,” said Stidd.
Stidd said the idea of the clothes closet began eight years ago.
“There was a student who was top-notch academically who would turn down internship opportunities. When the person at the time asked him why he turned down so many opportunities, he said it was because he didn’t have money to purchase professional clothing. So she went home and found a suit in her husband’s closet and gave it to the student. That student made us aware that students did not have access to professional attire,” said Stidd.
Claire Ami is the Career Outreach Coordinator at the Career Center. According to her, the clothes are donated from Goodwill. However, due to the clothes being donated, the center isn’t able to provide clothes to fit every body type. Stidd says that by collaborating with JC Penney, everything is available in all shapes and sizes.
“The College of Business brought the clothes closet over to us early in the fall,” said Ami. “We’ve got a mirror set up and racks with professional clothing. We have everything except shoes.”
The clothes closet is for students who need professional clothing at the moment. “They can also pick out clothes for interviews, career fairs or networking events,” said Ami.
“We have annual sponsorships from local professionals in the community,” said Stidd. “We’ve dedicated some of those sponsorships to clothing stipends for the JC Penney event. This fall we awarded five students with $100 clothing stipends.”
The College of Business hosted a Dress for Success event in Fall of 2017. Students were able to stop by the clothes closet and pick out clothes for free. Stidd elaborated that seventy-five students attended the event.
“This year was the first time we did the JC Penney event and over two-hundred students participated,” said Stidd. “When we offered the stipends, over forty students applied.”
Ami and Stidd encourage students to take advantage of the clothes closet. “I was interested in it because I know some students can’t afford professional clothing, because they’re expensive,” said Ami.
Per Stidd, “Until the closet got started, there wasn’t anything like this. Not only can students pick out clothes for free, but also with the JC Penney event, students can get brand-new clothes for a good deal.”
The UCCS Career Center isn’t solely for lending students professional attire. In addition, the department helps prepare students for the job market, including by reviewing resumes and cover letters, strengthening interview skills and guiding students toward employment and internship opportunities.
To learn more about how the Career Center can help you in the job market, visit their webpage: https://www.uccs.edu/career/.