Students at the University of Lynchburg have a new resource that will help them be better prepared for job and graduate school interviews. It’s “Suit Yourself,” a clothes closet on the third floor of Schewel Hall, where students can “shop” for interview attire at no cost to them.
Donations — suits, dress shirts and shoes, scarves and ties, etc. — are currently being accepted. Gently used items must be clean and in good condition. New items are also appreciated.
“The problem we have been seeing over the past years is that students don’t have the appropriate clothing or they are not even aware of what business attire is expected for them to be professional,” said Dr. Jimmy Roux, professor of communication studies and nonprofit leadership, and director of the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership Studies program.
“Along with being able to get free interview clothing, students can receive coaching as well on what clothing fabric and colors go together for maximum effect. It’s just another of many ways the faculty and staff are putting students first.”
Launching “Suit Yourself” was a team effort that involved Roux and a dozen or so faculty and staff members. “There has been a lot of talk of having our own clothing closet to give students interview attire for a few years now,” Roux said.
“Space was the largest problem to overcome, and Dr. Sabita Manian was kind enough to provide closet space in a room that wasn’t being used. After that, it just took off. We have been getting donations and we welcome more donations.
“It has been a true team effort, from organizing the space, to creating the logo, to keeping inventory. Everyone has pitched in something, so there is a lot of support.”
Lynchburg students may shop the closet before actual interviews and also for mock interviews and annual events like the etiquette dinner. “I teach the Organizational and Business Communication course [and] in that class, there are two assignments where they need to dress up: the mock interview and the etiquette dinner,” Roux said.
“The etiquette dinner is hosted by the Career and Professionalism Center, and they give awards for ‘best dressed’ and ‘best etiquette’ at the end of the dinner. In class, I tell the students, ‘You don’t know what your A game is until you practice it.’ Students get the opportunity to practice their business attire A game with these two events.”
For more information about “Suit Yourself” or to donate items, contact Cathy Phillips ’95, administrative assistant for the School of Social Sciences, at 434.544.8397 or firstname.lastname@example.org.