“First Impressions Make a Lasting Impression”

Monday, December 6, 2010

SC State University student O’Neill Jefferson vividly remembers Sept. 9, 2010. Most students anxiously awaited the arrival of Representative Bakari Sellers to the Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center. Sellers was the speaker for this year’s Fall Convocation. However, Jefferson saw the stark contrast between him and the students who didn’t attend. The sole reason being that they felt they did not have the proper attire. “I wanted to help them,” says Jefferson. “After all, your first impression says a lot about you. You don’t want your dress to stop you from getting a job or attending an event.”

Jefferson, a fashion merchandising major at the University, along with graduate student Keisha Glasgow, is assisting the Career Center with the launch of their latest initiative, Your Look! Your Chance! Your Choice! “This initiative is designed for students to use the proper business attire for job interviews and in professional settings,” states Joseph Thomas, interim director for SC State’s Career Center. “Before employers get to know and understand who students are, they see them physically, and we want to showcase our students in the best light possible. They are thrilled to implement this program.”

Glasgow is one of those students who is ecstatic about the campaign. A second-year MBA graduate student who also completed her bachelor’s degree at SC State, Glasgow says that Your Look! Your Chance! Your Choice! goes beyond merely an appearance. “The corporate world is all about being conservative, especially for interviews, and if nothing else, this campaign will serve as a purpose to educate students on the best way to dress,” states Glasgow. “I don’t think you can ever know enough on how to dress appropriately, especially for interviews.”

Students will get a glimpse of what this corporate life entails when they peek in Belcher Hall. Thomas, Glasgow and Jefferson hope that a rack now lined with just a few black, navy blue and gray suits, will soon fill this room on the second floor, an extension of the Career Center offices. “Our goal is to get as many donations as we can,” exclaims Thomas.

Thus far, faculty and staff members, as well as corporations, have donated clothing, mannequins and shelves. The entire student population will be allowed to utilize the clothing within a 24-hour period or longer, depending upon the duration of the interview. If a student is interested in using this professional attire, a sign in sheet will be placed in the Career Center. A student identification number is also required. Glasgow and Jefferson will ensure that the merchandise is returned and is in good condition. “We want to take very good care of these clothes because we want it to work for our students, not just today, but for students in the future,” says Thomas.

To make your donation to the Your Look! Your Chance! Your Choice! campaign, or to take advantage of the program, contact the Career Center at (803) 536-8577.