Career Management Center helps students dress for success

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The official uniform of many college students—jeans, flip-flops, sweats—won’t pass muster in the boardroom. It won’t even get you into the boardroom, says Ruben Britt, assistant director of Rowan University’s Career Management Center (CMC).

The official uniform of many college students—jeans, flip-flops, sweats—won’t pass muster in the boardroom. It won’t even get you into the boardroom, says Ruben Britt, assistant director of Rowan University’s Career Management Center (CMC).

“Business attire is a whole different mindset,” says Britt. “You have to look the part. You have to act the part. When it comes to dressing for an interview, a lot of students simply miss the boat.”

Luckily for Rowan students, the CMC is there to help them prepare for all facets of the interview process, including what to wear. The CMC is planning an event on Thursday, Oct. 25, to get students prepared, fashionably speaking, for the job interview.

During “Extreme Makeover: Dress for Success Edition,” students will have the opportunity to put together interview attire with a little help from the experts at Macy’s By Appointment in the Cherry Hill Mall. In an event coordinated by the CMC, students will spend two hours, from 3-5 p.m., learning about business attire from Macy’s professionals.

Students will learn what their first interview suits should look like and, also, what is acceptable on casual Fridays. They’ll put together their own outfits and will be critiqued by a panel of judges. The students—one male and one female— who put together the winning ensembles each will receive $250 Macy’s gift cards. All students will receive savings passes to shop in the store (some exclusions will apply).

The day also will include a cosmetics demonstration to help students achieve a professional, polished look, according to Sheri Lapinson of Macy’s By Appointment.

“We want to help our millennial customers learn how to dress for an interview, how to prepare themselves,” says Lapinson, who works in Macy’s By Appointment alongside her colleague, Veronica Tomasetti. “We’ll help students achieve the total look from head to toe.”

Students shouldn’t discount the importance of dressing for success, says Britt.

“I tell them that there are probably a dozen other candidates with similar qualifications up for the same position. But if they decide to go that extra mile, it sends a real message to the employer that they are professional and polished.

“Most of the hiring decisions are made as a result of non-verbal cues…the way candidates look, a firm handshake, and eye contact,” he adds.

The Extreme Makeover event is the second event this month presented by the CMC and focusing on professional wardrobes.

 With a little help from some stylish Rowan faculty, staff and administrators—including President Ali Houshmand—the center opened its Suit Our Students Closet on Tuesday, Oct. 16. The center is accepting men’s and women’s suits from members of the University community for the closet. Students who don’t own proper business attire can rent a suitable suit for $3 as they prepare to nail down their first job. Students are responsible for their own shirts, ties and shoes.

The Suit Our Students Closet opened on International Suit Up Day. In addition to unveiling the closet, students had the chance to learn how to tie neckties during demonstrations by Rowan faculty, administrators and professional staff members. Make-up demonstrations for women also were held.

“A lot of students don’t have a suit. And many of the men haven’t learned the proper way to tie a tie,” says Britt, adding that Houshmand personally donated five of his suits to the closet to assist students.

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