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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Career Closet expected to open January

Career+Closet
Photo by By Sydney Farris
Career Closet

A community wardrobe will allow students to check out professional attire starting in January.

Career Closet, a program that will loan professional attire to students in need, was authorized by the Student Senate Sept. 23 after the project received a $20,000 private donation and a $4,000 donation from the Career Center.

A partnership between the Career Center and the Student Government Association, Career Closet was initiated by municipal affairs vice president Wayne Beckermann and public service and administration graduate student Mason Parish.

“Our work will help ensure students are selected for an interview based off their merits and not the attire they are able to afford,” Parish said. “Currently, there are schools across the nation that have a similar program that’s allowing their students to be competitive. We want to make sure that Texas A&M students have every opportunity to be able to secure the career that they’ve always dreamed of.”

Parish first got the idea from a school he was visiting in the Midwest. Speaker of the Student Senate Aaron Mitchell and Executive Vice President Levi McClenny heard about Career Closet while at the SGA Exchange in Alabama during an SGA conference among SEC universities.

“All the other SEC schools came to us at this conference and asked us, ‘How do y’all get your programs to be so successful?’ and were really jealous of Big Event, Carpool, Traditions Council, Aggie Muster, because they were trying to put on similar things at their school but they weren’t nearly as successful,” said Mitchell. “We noticed that the only way they could ever claim any sort of victory over us is that they had a Career Closet and provided this service to students, so we couldn’t have that.”

Parish said the group has been visited with other schools who have similar programs and hopes to have the A&M Career Closet open in January for all A&M and Blinn Team students.

“The Career Closet is focused on making sure it has a successful launch with few challenges in the spring,” Parish said. “In order to achieve that, we’ve visited with schools across the nation and also Mays’ Career Closet to be able to implement best practices in order to ensure a successful launch.”

The entire process of checking out the attire will be anonymous, Parish said.

“The students will never have to worry about other students knowing they used the Career Closet,” Parish said. “When we launch services, students will be able to reach out to us, schedule a time, and in a private manner, try on the suits they would like to check out. Whenever they check out the suit, they’ll be asked to write a thank you card to our donors in addition to going and getting it dry cleaned to make sure the suit stays nice and clean for the next user.”

Once Career Closet launches, Beckermann said the plan is to host organization-specific events.

“So we’ll have a professional attire event where you teach guys how to tie ties or different things like that, what matches, what you should wear, those sort of things,” Beckermann said. “That’s still kind of unfolding as to what exactly will be in it but there will be organization specific events. We’ll have some food and try to get students to come out and learn about it.”

Those who donate to the organization have the opportunity to get their name stitched inside a suit jacket. 

“Every Ag wants to help another Ag,” McClenny said. “Those that are financially able are going to want to put it forward and help those Aggies behind them. Especially having those names sewn in there, they can write a thank you letter, we had the idea of taking pictures and sending it to them, etcetera. It’s just a way for those Ags who have gone before us to give back to us.”

Parish said they plan to have 50 suits in the Career Closet by the first year and expand annually from there.

Mitchell said SGA is excited to be on board with Parish and Beckermann with this project.

“We’re just extremely excited to be bringing Career Closet into SGA and we’re excited to fulfill our mission as a student government, one of which is to provide these services to students and protect the general welfare of the student body,” Mitchell said.

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