They perfect their resume, send in their application, get the call for an interview and then it hits them—they don’t have a suit.
Campus Closet is a new Tech organization that hopes to fix this problem, which plagues some Tech students. According to Lauren McDow, career advisor for the College of Business and Campus Closet advisor, students are delaying their job search until they can afford a proper suit for their interview. This is a catch-22 because, to afford a good suit, students would need some sort of income.
The idea was the brain child of Dennis Gast, fourth-year BUS major, and Brandie Banner, fourth-year CE major, whose, according to McDow, “interest in helping fellow students and role as an assistant in Career Services provided the inspiration for Campus Closet.”
As of now, Campus Closet is in a pilot state. Students can rent out suits throughout the year but by appointment only. The rentals are done over BuzzCard and last for seven days. Campus Closet is located in the basement of the Career Services building. The only caveat to renting a suit is that it must be dry cleaned before it is returned. Campus Closet is currently working to partner with dry cleaning stores so that students can eventually get a discount.
So far, Campus Closet has around 100-120 suits in styles for both women and men.
“We have a range of a lot of suits. They are all custom tailored so they’re exact sizes. That’s our biggest difficulty,” said Samay Jhunjhunwalla, a fourth-year ISyE major and co-founder of Campus Closet.
Even though it is just beginning, Campus Closet already has a wide range of donors. Most often, alumni will donate old suits but there are some more atypical donations. In fact, ex-Head Coach of football at UGA donated a whole “closet full” of suits. Rich Steele, Director of Auxiliary Services, donated two racks of suits to the organization.
Campus Closet is trying to partner with other corporations in a quest for donations. They also recently presented to the Student Foundation in hopes of building a partnership.
“We are non profit so everything we get is from donation,” Jhunjhunwalla said.
Their biggest challenge so far has been finding both space and support. In the future, they hope to move out of their current basement location.
Although its still new, Campus Closet has already made an impact in several students’ lives.
A few weeks ago, a high-school student, who was being interviewed for a scholarship, lost her luggage. Because of Campus Closet, she was able to rent a suit for her interview.
For the recent Career Fair, between 10 and 15 students rented out suits and, while the results have not come back yet, McDow and Jhunjhunwalla are certain Campus Closet helped them secure a job.
In the future, Campus Closet hopes to expand into a fully operational program. This especially means moving from a by-appointment basis to a walk-in one. But their biggest goal is to grow exponentially more in the number of students who use Campus Closet.