This spring, Olivet College students teamed up to create the new Comet Career Closet, a free resource on campus providing professional clothing to students. Every Comet should have the confidence to dress for success when pursuing internships or preparing to enter the workforce, now they can.
“As an insurance and risk management student at OC, I am not a stranger to pre-interview jitters,” said rising senior Alexis Hanchett, founder and student adviser for the Comet Career Closet. “I noticed that when I look confident, I feel confident, and I want every single student at OC to know that same feeling. Not being able to afford a professional wardrobe shouldn’t limit students at OC. I wanted to make sure everyone has a resource they could use so they can feel confident.”
Seven students, including Alexis, make up the Comet Career Closet Resources Committee, which helped develop the idea of the Closet, gathered donations and set up the physical space. The Women’s Leadership Institute and the Office of Alumni Engagement provided support for the initiative, including laundering donations and obtaining clothing racks. Many generous alumni, faculty, staff and students donated their gently used items to supply the Closet.
“The Closet looks amazing with donations from those on campus and alumni, and I hope we can continue to keep the Closet stocked and full of amazing items for students to utilize,” said rising sophomore Amber Rolston, treasurer of the Resources Committee. “Being able to pick out your own clothes, at no cost to you, for an internship or job will, hopefully, increase students’ confidence. This will allow them not to worry about the clothing aspect of the interview so they can focus on the actual interview part. We don’t want students who are in need afraid to get clothes, so we are trying to make it known that the Closet is open to everyone on campus and not just those with an internship/job interview tomorrow.”
Rising junior Caitlin Terrant, secretary for the Resources Committee, emphasized this sentiment. She noted that the stigma associated with second-hand clothing is an obstacle to overcome, but the Closet aims to make all students feel welcome and secure.
“Olivet is helping students feel confident in achieving their goals,” Caitlin said. “The Closet lessens students’ worry or anxiety of dressing up for a presentation during class or interviews. It’s a resource for any student who may need it at any time. Just because students attend college doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling in their personal lives. I would encourage any student to take advantage of this resource, especially those who need it, because I have never seen other schools do something like this for the students. It is tricky to address the stigma with second-hand clothing, but you can find great items of clothing that are secondhand.”
The Closet is located on the top floor of Burrage Library, and a grand opening ceremony was held before the conclusion of the spring semester. The Resources Committee is eagerly looking ahead to sharing the Closet with more students during the fall semester; they are currently making plans to establish the initiative as a permanent fixture on campus.
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 800-456-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.