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April 26, 2019
With the conclusion of the academic year this week and the summer internship season about to begin, Northwest Missouri State University students are invited to add some professional clothing to their wardrobes by visiting the Career Closet.
The Career Closet opens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 29, and Tuesday, April 30, in North Complex. The initiative, which a group of faculty and staff members organized last fall, provides gently worn professional attire, free of charge, to Northwest students.
“There’s no stigma,” Jill Brown, Northwest’s director of partnerships and placement, said. “Clothes are an unneeded expense when everything else is already expensive as a student. So regardless of your need, feel free to come shop and look because maybe you just needed a new skirt to feel confident in your interview. Maybe it’s a new tie so you can feel better about your class presentation.”
The Career Closet helps students “dress to impress” for job interviews, internships and practicum experiences.
“Students will come in a panic because they have an interview in like two hours, and they heard from someone that we have this Career Closet,” Brown said. “Almost every time we’ve been able to find exactly what they needed, and then they’ll send us selfies with ‘I got the job!’”
Brown, who leads Career Services, collaborated with Megan Sheil, an early childhood teacher at Northwest’s Phyllis and Richard Leet Center for Children and Families; Sarah Creason, an instructor of psychology; and Accessibility Coordinator Pat Wyatt to launch the Career Closet. Since then, Brown estimates, more than 300 “shoppers” have benefitted from the initiative, which has received donations from more than 100 individuals.
With the help of the Office of Residential Life, the space has expanded from one room in North Complex to four, allowing organizers to separate the clothing by type and use one room to store and organize donations. Clothing that goes unclaimed after a few months is donated to local organizations such as the Maryville Ministry Center or Big Brothers Big Sisters. Brown said the Career Closet recently donated some of its clothing to flood victims.
“When we started, I was honestly so worried we wouldn’t have enough stuff for a room, or how it would look,” Brown said. “Donations have come from all over. Bearcat alums have been fabulous. Faculty and staff have been awesome. Strangers, there’s so many times people will call and say they heard us on the radio, they saw an article or saw a Facebook post, and they don’t know anything about Northwest, but they’re like, ‘I love what you’re doing and the cause.’”
The University invites community members to donate gently worn professional attire, including suit jackets, pants, shirts and dresses as well as accessories such as professional shoes, scarves, jewelry and neck ties. Donations also may include clothing that is specific to a professional field, such as jeans or scrubs for a student entering the medical field.
All donations should be brought to Career Services, located in Room 130 of the Administration Building, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Clothing should be on a hanger and ready to wear.
For more information about the Career Closet, contact Career Services at 660.562.1250 or email@example.com.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468