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Millikin Career Closet Impacts Students

March 22, 2022

Millikin students are known for making a good impression during interviews.

Now they have the opportunity to make an even sharper impression.

A couple of months ago The Decaturian wrote about the new Clothing Closet initiative. The results are pouring in.

“I was always thinking about how I’m going to buy new clothes for interviews,” Cameron Richardson, a sophomore majoring in management information systems, said. “And just having that closet open up was a great thing for me, my budget, and for calming myself knowing that I can go there if I need professional clothes.”

The Center for Academic and Professional Performance (CAPP) at Millikin University is offering a clothing closet providing students with professional clothing attire for career development.

The new program is called Millikin’s Career Closet. This is an addition to the guidance they provide with resumes, cover letters, applications and interviews. Students are welcome to stop by the CAPP office and receive advice and professional dresswear for their wardrobe.

Between college and basic living expenses, having money leftover for professional dress clothing often causes anxiety for students preparing to enter the real world. However, Millikin’s Career Closet is eliminating this problem for many students.

Kalli Collins, Academic Intervention Specialist, oversees the closet and has seen firsthand how much of an impact it has had on Millikin students and their confidence.

“For an interview, you definitely want to look the part, and being dressed in professional clothing is really going to set the stage to impress that employer interviewing you for an internship or a job,” Collins said.

Professional attire is often overlooked when preparing students for the professional world, however, the CAPP office seeks to provide students with confidence in every aspect of their career development, including outward appearance.

Scarlett Linares, senior business major, is among the first group of students to benefit from the high quality dress clothes.

“I liked that they had different sizes even for plus size people,” Linares said. “I definitely walked into the room with a lot of confidence. I’m like, I know I look good. I know I look up to the part.”

Millikin’s Career Closet originated from the one time event, Dress to Impress, hosted at Millikin earlier this year on February 16th. At the event, students received professional dress advice and help putting together an outfit to impress potential employers.

“Wearing the clothes made me feel good knowing that I am in that professional sense and ready for the job,” said Richardson. The event was such a success that the closet was almost wiped clean.

Although the event was over a month ago, the CAPP office is still receiving donations.

“We’re in the process of figuring out, ‘What does the Career Closet look like?’” said Collins. As the future structure of the Career Closet is organized for next fall, it remains open and available to students for walk-ins Monday-Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

During the time of Dress to Impress, 150 clothing items were given to over 90 student attendees. Currently, Millikin’s Career Closet has received over 300 donated items since opening with the number increasing daily.

In the upcoming month, as graduation draws near, the CAPP office will have a Professional Prep Week on April 26th – 29th. During this time alumni will be invited to prepare students for the professional world through giving presentations, mock interviews, coaching on how to present yourself on LinkedIn, and any other questions students may have.

“Before students leave, we’re going to make sure they feel really prepared,” said Collins. Professional Prep Week is also a great time to take advantage of Millikin’s Career Closet. The sessions are available by scheduled appointments. More information will be available soon.

“The Career Closet is size and gender inclusive,” Collins said. “So whether you’re looking for masculine or feminine clothing or a variety of sizes, all of the donations we’ve been receiving covers a variety of clothing items.”

Furthermore, the closet caters to a range of fashion styles and taste.

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