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The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

Dress for Success

Center provides interview training and a wardrobe

No jeans, sweats, T-shirts, muscle shirts, ball caps or pajamas. Save those for home. Stow your MP3 player away and turn off your cell phone–texting can wait. Leave your flip flops for the beach.

Keep it conservative. Men should wear a suit, tie and dress shoes. Subdued colors like gray, navy and black are best. Women should also wear a suit with pants or skirt. Colors should mimic the men’s palette. Leave the spike heels and opt for professional flats or low heels.
And remember: brush your hair and teeth.

The student was in a panic. A senior about to graduate, he had a job interview in two hours, but he didn’t have the proper attire. That’s where the Career Closet in the University Career Center came in.

"We quickly found him a nice charcoal suit, he checked it out and was on his way," recalls Audrey Magnuson, director of the Career Center.

An idea born of need last December—getting students professionally dressed for job or internship interviews—is proving successful this year.

The Career Closet loans out high-quality suits to students who would not otherwise have the clothes to make the right impression on a potential employer, said Magnuson.

"It has been just unbelievably successful, and the students’ feedback has been very positive," she said.

With a $2,000 UTSA Family Fund grant, Magnuson was able to buy several men’s business suits in common sizes as well as women’s skirts and jackets.

"The idea came from my counselors, who were encountering a number of students who just did not have professional-quality clothing they could wear to interviews, job fairs or etiquette dinners," she said.

Since the fall semester, between 75 and 100 students have taken advantage of the free service. Shirts are available in common sizes, and ties are also part of the loaner outfit. The only thing the service does not provide is shoes, she said.

"We are able to offer an extended service to our students, so they will have the confidence they need," Magnuson noted. "Now we help [students] with the complete package, putting their résumé together, helping them with interview practice and getting them professionally dressed for the interview."

–Guillermo Garcia


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