Do you have an interview coming up? Need to make a good impression and dress professional? UNC Charlotte’s Career Center has you covered with its very own professional closet program.
The Career Center conducts a professional clothing closet in which students have the opportunity to select professional attire which he or she may need for an interview, networking event, job fair or even just every day work.
“This is our first semester operating the closet and we have had a wonderful turnout so far,” Assistant Director & Career Coach Karen Arrington said. “I love managing this initiative. It has been very rewarding to be a part of this process and work with students to choose clothing that makes them feel most comfortable.”
The professional closet is functional the first and third Wednesday of each month from 1-3 p.m. for a drop-in service to select professional attire. Students may visit once a semester to select two articles of professional clothing which they are allowed to keep. There is no return policy.
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When a student arrives to utilize the closet, staff members provide an overview of the clothing closet operation and help students find the professional attire that best suits their needs. This program is in partnership with the Jamil Niner Food Pantry.
“I volunteered at the Jamil Niner Food Pantry last semester and they have a room which they use to hold and sort through professional attire,” said student Steven Tran. “It’s amazing to see the University supporting students academically as well as professionally in this way.”
Even if one may not personally need to use the program, there are still other ways to become involved in it. The program accepts clothing donations, which is a great way to help out.
“While I haven’t personally used the program, I have donated to it,” said Assistant Director for the Peer Career Ambassador Program and Career Coach A.J. Simmons. “I feel obligated to help others and help pay it forward. I work here and come in everyday so I think about it a lot which makes me want to help in any way I can.”
The professional closet is an extremely beneficial program for many students, but it is not the Career Center’s only service. All students and alumni are welcome at the Career Center and the staff is always willing to help. The Career Center is a resource for finding an internship, networking-strategies, graduate school preparation, exploring majors and careers, interview preparation, and practically anything else career-related.
So far, the busiest times for the professional closet have been during the career fairs. Career advisors say that it’s very important to make a good impression when it comes to meeting potential employers and much of that starts simply with presenting oneself in a professional manner.
“For me, it's all about helping students to present their best selves and with this initiative, I believe as though I am able to do that,” Arrington said. “A large part of preparation for interviews and networking events is dressing for success, so being able to provide preparation and resources has been extremely rewarding for me.”