LEAD EDITORIAL: Career Closet Provides Crucial Preparation for Professional Futures

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For many students, “professional attire” hasn’t been a part of life up to this point. Many students lack adequate experience in the professional world, so it can be hard for them to gauge what proper dress should be. For others, lack of professional clothing could be a financial issue. Regardless, according to Vector Research, dressing appropriately for an interview is an important part of being professional, especially for college students. This is why Drew University’s new Career Clothing Closet is such an important development on campus. 

In December of 2021, the Center for Career Development (CCD) opened the Career Clothing Closet in Sycamore Cottage. The goal of the closet is to “provide new and gently-used professional attire to Drew students, free of charge,” according to a statement released by the university.  By adding the Career Clothing Closet, Drew is taking a crucial role in facilitating students’ development into full-fledged members of the working world by providing professional clothing and therefore increasing the availability of job opportunities for all students. 

Providing students with a career closet fills in those gaps created by lack of experience in professional environments. With the guidance of CCD staff,  students can find professional outfits that make them feel comfortable and confident, while also being appropriate for the fields they plan to go into.This opportunity can help students dress professionally and make good first impressions in their interviews, something in which professional dress is a key factor according to Indeed.com

The closet also helps eliminate some of the economic challenges that may prevent students from seeking out or landing professional interviews.  However, the Drew Career Closet combats this because the whole experience is free of charge, saving students with financial difficulties the stress of having to shell out their savings on professional dress. Paired with knowledgeable assistance from the Center for Career Development, a cost-free professional outfit could be just what some students need to gain confidence in applying for opportunities they may not have pursued otherwise. 

crop businessman giving contract to woman to sign
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

The Career Closet serves as a priceless professional development opportunity for Drew University students as they take their first steps into the working world. By providing this and other job seeking assistance, the Center for Career Development has succeeded in giving Drew students a leg up against others in the same position. The right clothing can make all the difference in giving students confidence for becoming part of the workforce. 

Students interested in making use of the  Career Clothing Closet, can schedule appointments via Handshake. Community members and others who wish to donate professional attire are encouraged to contact Gwen Debenedetto by email at gdebenedetto@drew.edu

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