The Bastian Family Center for Career Success kicked its first event of the term off last week with open hours at the “Career Closet”, a free wardrobe resource for students.
“The Closet is over-flowing right now,” said Lindsey Steele, Administrative Assistant for the Career Center. “So we bagged up some stuff to send over to the Share Shop there at the end of our event on Tuesday, but we need to do some more because it’s bursting at the seams.”
The Closet’s January and December drive featured winter clothing Ñ including new coats, hats and gloves bought by one of the Knox Trustees Ñ in conjunction with the existing racks of dress shirts, shoes and blazers students can peruse through for incoming internships or job interviews.
The center is located in Taylor Lounge and is open once a month during set hours, but students can schedule individual appointments through Handshake.
The clothing comes at no cost for students and is sourced through donations. Steele said they accept donations throughout the year and often finds bags of clothing left outside the Career Center’s door, deposited during the center’s off-hours.
“Obviously, staff and faculty are here all the time, so we are constantly getting bags of donated clothing,” Steele said. “Around Homecoming we get a lot of alums that will bring stuff back and then the Trustees are here on campus three times a year and there’s usually quite a few of them that will bring stuff with them then.”
Steele said 24 students came to the Career Closet’s all day event in January, with about 85 professional and winter wear items taken. Forty-two students used the Closet in November adding up to over 100 items taken.
The Career Closet, operating since January 2017, has its next open event Wednesday Feb. 12, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Students can also expect to see mock-interview events and a career fair from the Career Center this term.
Knox alum Leah Rymer graduated last fall and heard about the Career Closet from her roommate. After a successful job interview, she made an appointment at the Career Closet and picked up ten blazers and some pants Ñ a necessary staple for her new role on a political campaign.
“I definitely think it helped prepare me for my job,” Rymer said. “Business clothes can be very expensive and that’s not something that is in my budget to be able to afford going into a job where I need that sort of clothing.”
Rymer said she has worn the blazers three to four times in the past week and depending on the campaign’s outcome, she may further utilize the Career Closet’s clothing in time to come.
“So if she (Rachel Ventura) wins, the goal for us would be for me to work in D.C with her. Which, these clothes will come in very handy on the day to day,” she said .