Updated: Jan 16, 2019
In a collaboration between the Student Government Association and Salisbury University’s Career Services, the university is setting up students to dress for success with the opening of a new career closet.
The closet is equipped with a multitude of options that a student might need in the instance of a job fair, interview or other academic event in which professional clothing may be required.
Career Services is still working on getting a fixed schedule, but the temporary hours are Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours in the days leading up to on-campus job fairs. The closet can be found the Guerrieri Student Union Room 242 C.
As an available resource to all students, the closet is an initiative to help students succeed in the professional working world beyond college. In addition to attire, Career Services wants to help students prepare for these formal events by requiring that all students who use the closet must first provide a resume to be critiqued.
Career Services helps students on the road to success by critiquing their resumes as well as giving opportunities for mock interviews, aiding in the job search and providing tips on how one should act in a professional setting.
Students who seek to use the resources provided by Career Services can take the first step by turning in a resume to the office located in GSU Room 133.
The closet has a broad range of options and sizes ranging from XS to XXL in order to accommodate to the diversity of body types and styles at SU. Within the closet, there is also a fitting room so students are able to try on the business attire before deciding.
Students are able to borrow up to four articles of clothing and are asked to return the pieces one to two weeks following the loan.
Upon returning the clothes, students are not required to wash the borrowed pieces, for Career Services provides the dry cleaning.
SGA’s Director of Marketing and Communications Tasneem Elbashir played a large role in making the Career Closet at SU a reality. After finding inspiration from various schools like Morgan State which had already instilled such a project, the SGA decided that it was necessary to have one at SU.
“We researched initiatives to find out what other schools are doing and what other SGAs are doing, and we came up with the Career Closet after we found out that other schools have been doing it for about 18 to 20 years,” Elbashir said. “We were surprised that we did not have anything like it.”
Here at SU, Elbashir claims that the closet can be beneficial for students attending job fairs and internship fairs because in the past, many students would attend these events in unprofessional clothing, which ultimately impacted their success.
When it comes to stocking the closet, donations are always encouraged, but there are certain standards that the donations need to meet.
Elbashir explained the requirements stating that clothes have to be “new or gently used, modern, classic within five years, stainless and clean.”
“I think it’s so beneficial for so many reasons; the main reason being that students have so many situations where they need to look professional in order to make a good impression,” Elbashir said. “If students are dressed professionally they will feel good, and if you feel good you do good.”
Elbashir expressed a great deal of gratitude toward the Associate Dean of Students Dr. Lawanda Dockins-Gordy, who made the dream of a Career Closet at SU a reality by allocating funding and helping to secure a location for the project.
“She’s amazing. She helped us so much, from finding the space to helping us with the fitting room. She is just amazing,” Elbashir said.
Program Management Specialist at Career Services Crystal Dickerson has been working closely with Elbashir and her predecessor Tristan Marino, who proposed the initiative to SU officials last academic year.
Dickerson highlights that the closet is not only a beneficial aspect to the campus community but also a necessity.
“Many times students have needs, and those needs, many times, are not known for various reasons, so we provide another offering for students to help them in taking that next step toward being a professional,” Dickerson said.
Dickerson hopes that in requiring the critique of a resume upon entering the closet, more students will take advantage of the other services that are offered to help provide students with opportunities that are about more than just a professional appearance.
“We would like to also create it where they [the students] will be more engaged with Career Services, not only just for the dress, but to help them prepare, whether it’s going over their resume or providing a mock interview,” Dickerson said.
“Because if they’re getting the clothing, they’re getting it because they need it for a job fair, so they might as well take advantage of our other services to make sure they are aware of what employers want and what they are looking for in a student.”
By CAROLINE STREETT
Gull Life editor
Featured photo: (From left to right) 2017-18 SGA Marketing and Communications Director Tristan Marino, SGA President Devin Neil and SU President Charles Wight pose at the Career Closet ribbon-cutting ceremony (Emma Redier image).