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A Dozen More Join Smith Faculty
You’ve perfectly prepared your résumé. You’ve networked all year to make the right job contacts. You’ve written an eloquent cover letter, sent out multiple copies to potential employers and hit every job fair in the Five College region. And finally, you’ve nailed down that interview that’s going to launch your sterling career.
Now, what to wear?

For Smith students, the answer may lie in a roomful of suits in the CDO, all in up-to-date styles, most costing more than the typical student budget can accommodate.
Through a program suitably called “Suit Yourself,” Smith’s CDO provides students with the clothing they need to impress their potential employers, lock down that perfect internship or attend a job fair in fashion.

A roomful of garments in Drew Hall, the CDO’s home -- pants, skirts, jackets, all in matching black -- are available in all sizes (2–24), assures Janice Schell, a career counselor in the CDO, who helped initiate the program. Fifty garments there, made with “all-season” fabric, await the Smith student body.

“Suit Yourself” is not just for seniors, emphasizes Schell, but for any student who needs the right look for a career- or job-related appointment. So far, more than 20 students have borrowed garments through the program, she says, including seniors, sophomores, first-years and one Ada Comstock Scholar.

“It might be someone who can’t afford a suit,” says Schell of the program’s customers, “or perhaps someone who has a last-minute interview.”

For an hour and a half a day, student workers are on duty at the CDO to help clients choose clothing and try it on and lend out garments and arrange a return schedule (check-out is usually for one week). Those wishing to borrow garments must present a valid student ID. All garments must be dry-cleaned before their return to the CDO.

"Suit Yourself” was initiated in the fall by Schell and CDO administrators Carrie Hemenway, communications director, and Deborah Wijnhoven, technical director, after they saw similar programs at other colleges.

“So far, it’s been well used,” notes Schell. “I think it’s taking right off. I would anticipate heavier use in the spring” when job-interview season kicks in.

The clothing for “Suit Yourself” was purchased at Casual Corner (for approximately $3,000) with funding from a grant to the CDO from Goldman Sachs to support student career-related resources.

Program hours for the spring semester “Suit Yourself” will be announced at the beginning of the semester through house student liaisons and via email.

 
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