Didi Martinez | Digital Managing Editor
With job-hunting season in full swing, Baylor is making sure all students can be dressed for success for their next interview.
Baylor’s Office of Career and Professional Development is now offering students the opportunity to enter the workplace through the opening of its Career Closet. The closet, which is located in 127.01 Sid Richardson, offers a variety of dress pieces, shoes and accessories to students, free of cost.
Similar to The Store and The Fridge, the Closet’s exists with the goal of filling a need within campus, according to executive director of the Office of Career and Professional Development, Marjorie Ellis.
“People assume that every person that goes to Baylor is a rich kid and that they have everything that they need,” Ellis said. “But just like we found there are food insecurities, there are a lot of students that don’t have appropriate clothing to wear to a professional event. And a lot of times, even if they could buy it, most of them don’t know what’s appropriate.”
The Career Closet is an expansion of the Office of Career and Professional Development’s efforts to make sure students are conscious of their appearance at professional events. This is in addition to its “BU Suit Up” events, which partners up with the JCPenney at Richland Mall to offer students clothing at discounted prices.
A visit to the closet includes a meeting with a career advisor to consult students on appropriate attire and a visit to the fitting room to try on items. While no appointment is necessary to access the Career Closet’s resources, the center’s hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. Upon arrival, students will be asked to present their student identification and fill out a brief questionnaire identifying their need. This, Ellis said, will help the center’s employees to select sizes and items based on demand.
Right now, the majority of clothing pieces within the closet are brand new — a head start made possible through the department’s partnership with Home Depot, who ended up gifting the center a whole closet unit.
“We actually went to Home Depot to just get some prices because we were going to put the unit ourselves,” said Jade McCurdy, the department’s office manager.
The visit later ended up in a meeting with Donna Morgan, who works with the company out of Austin, and was inspired by the center’s mission.
“She immediately wanted to contact her boss and just kinda tell him our story and why we are wanting this unit,” McCurdy said. “And he actually ended up telling us a story about when he was in college, where he got this job with Home Depot too, he actually used his career service’s career closet for his attire that he went on the interview for.”
Though the closet is currently open, the center will have its formal public opening at the office’s open house event later this semester.
Ellis said the Closet will be an ongoing effort by those within the career office. And while in the early stages of development, the center is asking for “interview-appropriate clothing and accessories” as well as financial donations. A complete list of the center’s needs can be found on the Career Closet’s page online.