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
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
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
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
"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
“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.