Career Closet Opens Doors for Students
Oct. 2, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton
When trying to find a job, first impressions down to attire matter. College students are often unable to afford professional clothing for job interviews and events such as career fairs. That is why the Reba Bock Career Closet was established at Sam Houston State University to help students obtain business clothes for these important occasions.
The purpose of the Reba Bock Career Closet is to have a resource on campus for students who need professional attire but may not have the money to purchase it at retail prices. The Career Closet is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Tripod's Thrift shop, located at 1619 Sam Houston Avenue (right next to Subway). Students will be allowed up to four items a year, free, with their Bearkat OneCard.
The closet began through the Reba Bock fellowship and the ultimate goal is to professionalize students across campus and give them opportunities to succeed no matter their financial background.
"I have personal experience with not being able to afford professional attire when I needed it because some days it came down to choosing what meals to buy. When I researched the topic, it became apparent that other students had the same problem,” said Jensen Stallworth, recent SHSU graduate and creator of the Career Closet. “We want to ensure that those students have the same opportunities to attend professional events and interviews regardless of their financial status.”
Ashly Smith, assistant professor in the College of Business Administration and faculty sponsor for the project, has helped Stallworth coordinate her efforts and has been a driving force in getting the Career Closet opened and operational.
“We are excited to say that we have finally opened our doors,” Smith said. “We have worked with countless organizations and this has been very interdisciplinary across campus. We are very grateful for the tremendous support.”
Career Services manages the Career Closet. Pam Laughlin, director of Career Services, and her staff have worked tirelessly to organize, decorate and prepare the space to be an on campus boutique for students. Laughlin hopes the impact is immediate for students with upcoming career fairs.
“Part of our interest is not only to provide clothes, but to prepare our students to enter the workforce,” Laughlin said. “This will be a great opportunity to educate students regarding what is appropriate to wear to an interview or professional networking event. We want to thank Dean Abby Zink, Enrollment Management, the Center for Community Engagement staff, student organizations, faculty, staff, alumni and everyone else who has donated either clothes or their time to our efforts. Many people were a part of this endeavor and we are excited to see it in action.”
Clothing donations accepted at Career Services (located in AB-IV 210) include: suits, pantsuits, skirt-suits, dresses, slacks, button-down shirts, blouses, ties and belts. Clothes should be in good condition and reflect current fashion trends.
Financial gifts are also accepted and should state that the contribution is for the “Friends of the Reba Bock Career Closet.” Faculty and staff can give through the annual Faculty/Staff Campaign by designating their gift to the Career Closet. Those interested in giving should contact Career Services at 936-294-1713 or visit www.shsu.edu/giving.
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