Nov 18, 2019
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(Darlene Wendels/The Collegian)

Fresno State opens student closet for professional clothes

Fresno State unveiled a new initiative to help students get professional clothes for job interviews.

The Clothing Closet, which is a project of the Career Development Center, will have formal shirts, coats, skirts, pants and accessories that students can take advantage of each semester, said Stephen Davis, an employer services specialist at the center.

The closet held its grand opening on April 1, with Mary Castro and Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president for student affairs attending.

“We have reached out to numerous organizations in the community and faculty and staff here at the university and received tons of donations,” Davis said. “Now students can come in and pick out three items each semester, and they get to keep those items.”

All undergraduate and graduate Fresno State students are eligible to use the closet.

In March, a fashion show was held at the Satellite Student Union, which showcased more than 40 different styles and designs from the Clothing Closet, said senior Danika Brumbeloe, a fashion merchandising major who helped organize the show.

“We started discussing, ‘What can we as students do to help create something for students that won’t make them feel like lower-class,’” Brumbeloe said. “So that it was a student-supported service that would make people feel comfortable.”

The result was several racks of clothes and shelves filled with clothes located inside the Career Development Center inside the Thomas Building. The closet will be open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The majority of the clothing was donated from the community, Brumbeloe said.

“A lot of it was donated by faculty and staff, and some alumni have started donating as well,” she said. “The only thing they intend on buying are things like packs of white undershirts and nylons – things like that.”

Davis hopes that students will take advantage of the closet.

“We’re going to really market this and promote it out to students heavily now,” Davis said. “It’s already been lightly marketed, so we’ve actually had quite a few students come through here.”

So far, students have come in for a wide variety of reasons, Davis said.

“Students come here to get clothing for job interviews, if they have a mock interview,” Davis said. “Some students are in organizations and they have professional day, and they need to dress up. Some students need an outfit for their first day of work at a new job. This closet was created specifically to help those students who maybe don’t have the means to purchase something right now.”

However, the closet it just one of the initiatives the Career Development Center has to help students, Davis said.

“We do mock interviews, which is very helpful to students, because a lot of students don’t realize how tough actual interviews are once you start preparing for a career,” Davis said. “Interviewing for something that’s part-time, minimum-wage isn’t going to be the same as where you might be working for a Fortune 500 company.”

Students can schedule appointments for anything related to career development, Davis said, including resume critiques, help writing a resume from scratch, help with cover letters, personal statements, finding a job on campus, help finding internships, help applying for graduate school and more.

To make an appointment with a counselor at the Career Development Center, call 559-278-2381.

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