Today’s millennial graduates don’t always know how they should dress when they go for job interviews or attend business activities. To help them understand what “business attire” really means, every September Mississippi State University in Starkville holds a Dress Your Best event sponsored by Beta Gamma Sigma, the MSU Career Center, and the MSU Fashion Board. The event includes a career-themed fashion show featuring campus leaders, who inform students what to wear for interviews and offer advice on revising social media profiles for career readiness. Students also have the opportunity to have professional headshots taken at the event.
But what about students who know what they should wear—but can’t afford to buy the proper clothing? That was the question that occurred to College of Business student Emily Moak Ferril when, as a junior, she was giving a presentation with some of her classmates. “I realized that maybe there was a need to provide professional clothing to students who may not have access to the items otherwise,” she says.
In 2011, Ferril founded the Dress Your Best Closet with the help of faculty advisor Kathleen Thomas. The closet started as a professional wardrobe scholarship, funded by donations, to provide business clothing to five female students at the College of Business; the following year, it provided clothing scholarships to male students as well. Now in its fifth year, the Dress Your Best Closet houses approximately US$9,000 worth of professional men’s and women’s clothing in various sizes. Because the effort is supported by donor gifts, all College of Business students can borrow suits from the Dress Your Best Closet for free.
For more information about Mississippi State University’s Dress Your Best program, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.