Career Center Launches Career Closet

Posted: November 20, 2020 12:00:00 AM CST

Principal Foundation, tied to Principal Financial, awarded CBT’s Career Center a generous grant that has been leveraged to offer professional attire and photography to CBT students free of charge.

Upon receiving the grant confirmation, the Career Center immediately collaborated with CBT’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development who brainstormed and organized a plan. Adhering to CBT’s mission for experiential learning, the center personnel decided to offer the overall management and execution of this service to a student to fan the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Beyond just the professional attire for men and women, the Career Closet also offers the students a way to get headshots for portfolios and resumes – all at no cost to the student. Located in West Center rooms E119 and E121, a student can easily borrow shirts, slacks, skirts and jackets, move to the next room down the hall for a quick picture, then return the items. Students are also allowed to borrow the items for events such as the UNK Career Fair, to ensure they have the attire they need for those professional interactions.

UNK student Austin Truex, an organizational and relational communications major, stepped up to the call of managing the Career Closet. Truex was able to build on the idea with the sponsoring centers and ultimately catered the business to his availability. He manages everything from the inventory to the marketing and promotion of the service and is building his experience in the retail-type business as he goes. His expertise also extends into the photography, as professional head shots are a large part of the services offered.

Ashton Baxa is a transfer student from Kansas and a first-year UNK student. When she arrived on campus, she brought all the usual amenities with her that she felt she needed. All those except professional attire. Being 2 hours away from her home, she didn’t have many opportunities to make the long drive before the UNK Career Fair was scheduled. The Career Closet provided her the opportunity to borrow professional attire without having to stress about taking a trip on the weekend.

“It was super convenient and fast. There was a selection of sizes that I could try on and I was able to find something quickly that would work well for my first career fair," Baxa shared. She continued by stating that it was also beneficial so she didn't have to worry about having the money and time to locate and purchase what she’d need to look her best in front of potential employers in a town she wasn't completely familiar with.

“One of the best things was that it was all free, and that helped reduce the stress I was feeling in general about the career fair," said Baxa.

The process was very easy and is one that Baxa promotes to other students as well, especially to those who live on campus and may need to conserve closet space. Baxa, a member of CBT’s living learning community for first-year students, felt the Career Closet was something that all first-years should know about and use. She added that “another great thing about the Career Closet is that all I had to do was return the items when the career fair was over. The clothing was laundered for me, so I didn’t have to worry about that.”

The hope for the future, according to CERD Assistant Director Aliese Hoffman, is to promote clothing drives. These drives would bring in more variety in the options available other than the strict black suits and white shirts. It would provide variety while also giving an outlet for faculty and staff to contribute to the students with gently pre-used items.

Currently, the Career closet will reopen at the beginning of the Spring semester. If you or a student you know would like to take advantage of this free service, please contact Austin at cbtcareercloset@unk.edu

By: CBTENews

Category: General, Business and Technology

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