The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has opened the first-ever Career Closet at West Virginia University. Engineering students can now obtain business attire on campus when needed thanks to generous donations from WVU faculty, staff, alumni, students and members of the community.
The Career Closet was created as a way to provide students with resources to promote themselves in a professional way that was conveniently located on campus.
“Last fall, there was signage in the College that advertised upcoming career fairs that featured a ‘wear this, not that’ tag. It showed two students in business attire juxtaposed with two students in what can best be described as attire inappropriate for most business environments,” said Mary C. Dillon, director of marketing and communications for the Statler College. “Unfortunately, I had seen some of our students at our career fair in similar attire. After discussing it with several colleagues at a women in technology conference in October, we all agreed that there was a simple way to solve it and someone just needed to make it happen.”
With the help of the WVU chapters of Sigma Phi Delta, Alpha Omega Epsilon and the WVU Society of Women Engineers section, the Statler College Career Closet was established. Members of the organizations will run the Closet, which is currently open three days a week, with additional hours being added in conjunction with career events on campus.
”One time a member of SWE forgot that a career fair was going on until they arrived on campus, so they were not dressed appropriately but still wanted to attend,” said Alexa Anderson, vice president of SWE. “One of her friends, who was prepared for the career fair and dressed appropriately, attended the career fair and then switched outfits with her so she could attended as well. There is a clear need for the Career Closet, which is why we were eager to get involved. “
Garrett Sollon, Sigma Phi Delta Beta-Xi president, concurred, adding, “During my freshmen year at WVU I had to take Engineering 101, a general engineering course. While taking this course, I had to do a series of presentations that required me to wear at least business casual attire. All throughout high school, I never needed to dress up for any presentation, so this was very new me. Since I was already at school, I had to scavenge up whatever money I could to purchase some professional clothing.”
The Closet, located in G54 Engineering Sciences Building, provides students with resources and advice on how to dress professionally for occasions such as job interviews or career fairs. Students are able to take up to four items of career wear per semester that they can keep free of charge.
“The Career Closet is a huge asset to WVU students,” said Sarah Glenn, associate director of employer relations for WVU’s Career Services Center. “Employers expect students to have polished suits and resumes, and this new service will ensure that all students, regardless of their financial situation, will have access to professional attire.”
Glenn noted that WVU hopes to expand this to the entire campus in the near future.
Donations to the Career Closet are tax deductible.
For more information on news and events in the West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources:
College Relations office: 304-293-4086
Office of the Dean: 304-293-4157
Other College administrative and department offices: Administration