Castleton University’s Career Services office is bringing a “Career Closet” program to the college thanks to a sponsorship and donations from Goodwill.
The program, which is set to be ready for use in January, is meant to provide students with clothing appropriate for a professional setting.
“I’ve had a closet as part of the career office and we’ve had some clothes donated in the past,” Director of Career Services Renee Beaupre-White said. “We have some items, we’ve just never really promoted it.”
At Castleton’s Part-time Job Fair earlier this fall, Beaupre-White said representatives from Goodwill attended and offered their professional Career Closet program to the university.
Castleton senior Tiffany Ervin, a social work major and intern at Career Services, is heading the initiative’s implementation and said once the closet is up and running, the clothes can be found in the Informal Lounge’s meeting room.
“These clothes could be used for interviews, or they could be used for internships at jobs,” Ervin said. “That’s what these are for. We’re hoping to have an array of different options because every work environment is different. Some are more business casual, and some want something a little more formal. We’re hoping they just have a large array to meet everyone’s needs.”
Ervin added that she expects the closet will be on an appointment basis and that students are invited to take and keep a couple of outfits, possibly more if the individual is headed into a job setting.
“We’re giving them away for free. I mean, we’re college students. We don’t have a lot of money,” she chuckled.
Beaupre-White will be a point of contact for students interested in receiving clothing, but Ervin said students are welcome to get in touch with her as well until she graduates in the spring.
“I love this idea! I think it’ll be helpful to students who don’t have the finances or access to those types of clothing. I know a lot of people who just don’t think to get formal wear for interviews or jobs. I can see myself checking it out,” Castleton senior Ashley Carey said.
Beaupre-White also mentioned other upcoming events that students can look forward to in the spring. Such events will include job fairs, a business etiquette dinner to teach networking techniques, and a majors fair in February that will allow undeclared students to speak with student representatives and professors from different programs.
These initiatives are intended to prepare students for the professional world outside of their time at Castleton. Ervin said often times students may not be aware of appropriate dress for an employment setting or have adequate professional skills in general, and that knowledge of these are necessary for all planning to enter the workforce.
“A lot of these students haven’t had to do anything professional. I know up until I got to college, it was all foodservice and working as a store clerk where you don’t necessarily need to dress super professional,” Ervin said. “What I would like to see come out of [the career closet] is people just learning how to dress professionally.”