There are several ways to prepare our students at Eastern Michigan University for the professional work field, and assisting them in how they present themselves is vital. Having access to professional clothing throughout their college career, may help improve self-esteem and contribute to the development and maintenance of a professional identity.
There is a large percentage of students at EMU on Federal Pell Grants who may have limited income and resources. Currently, EMU’s SWOOP’s Food Pantry serves students in many ways. Additionally, the Eagle Style Career Closet will provide students with professional clothing to develop their professional identity without further straining them financially.
The Eagle Style Career Closet will serve as an on-campus resource for all Eastern Michigan University students whereas they will be able to select professional clothing items in preparation for any upcoming professional experience (i.e. practicum, field experience, internship, externship, teaching placement, or employment interview) at no cost to them.
Eastern Michigan University students will be able to make an appointment to shop by completing an online appointment request form. The request form will collection information to help the career closet staff best serve the students. The form will ask students about demographic information and their clothing interests/needs. The students will be allowed to shop one time every three months; however, a second visit may be granted after submitting a second visit request with reasoning. To serve as many students as possible, students can select up to 4 items of professional wear free of charge per visit. The items do not need to be returned.
As we build the career closet we hope to create opportunities to partner with local entities for professional events and have local or corporate donations. We also hope to offer students work and volunteer opportunities at the career closet. Additionally, we encourage the EMU community at large to participate by donating items to the career closet. This project also focuses on recycling and repurposing clothing which helps prevent waste in the community.
"When you look better you feel better! A career closet would be a great addition to the EMU campus and provide an opportunity for people to not only use the closet but also give back. People can feel self-conscious about going for an interview if they do not have the proper attire, and may not present themselves at their highest level of confidence. The career closet would provide an opportunity to those in need, and help them prepare for their interview in proper attire. In addition, the closet would provide a chance for the community to get involved by donating gently used business attire, and even volunteering." - Kennedy Ward, Early Childhood Elementary Education, Class of 2024
"As a student prioritizing my classes, I am limited in the amount of hours I am able to work. I work on campus and make minimum wage. In order to dress professionally for my practicum placements, I have to spend a good majority of my paycheck. Due to my financial situation, I am limited in the amount of professional attire I own. I would enjoy having a community closet in which I could build my wardrobe without having to sacrifice my savings." - Megan Tucholski, Elementary Education with an Early Childhood Comprehensive, Class of 2024
"I believe that a career closet would be beneficial for me as an education major because this major allows me to gain lots of field experience while I am also taking classes here. In order for me to get the true experience in these schools that I could potentially be teaching at, I will need to dress properly and professionally. As a college student as well as a student athlete here at Eastern, I do not have a lot of time or money to go shopping and buy these professional items. I believe that this closet would make a huge impact for students to be able to gain these materials that may be holding them back from becoming successful in their future careers." - Claire McCurley, Early Childhood Elementary Education, Class of 2024