Free professional clothing available for order, pickup
By Michael Davis (B.A. ’03)
Georgia State students in need of suits, blouses, skirts and other clothing for interviews and jobs can now order items from the Department of University Career Services and pick them up for free.
The Career Closet’s online store opened in January, allowing any Georgia State student to browse men’s, women’s, accessories and other sections of gently used donated items.
“The selection process works like any other online store and it’s open to any student at Georgia State, but it is focused on professional dress,” said Catherine Neiner, director of University Career Services. “We want to make sure that students present themselves in the best possible way. When you feel like you’re dressed professionally, that makes you more confident and more self-assured. So, we want our students to feel that they have the professional presence they need to go after whatever their career goals are.”
The Career Closet first opened in December 2019 in a space in the Career Services office at Student Center West on the Atlanta Campus. It was closed to in-person shopping, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the fall 2020 semester, Career Services staff worked to take the shopping experience virtual with an online store powered by Shopify that showcases each item in the closet’s inventory.
The Shopify platform allows Career Services staff to tag and track each item placed in the store and gives students the ability to “check out” the items in their shopping carts with a zero balance. Once students check out, they receive an email confirming their “purchase” and have 10 days to pick their items up at the Career Services office, according to Daniel Edgerton, the technology and communications coordinator for Career Services.
“Those orders are picked and fulfilled by our Career Resource Center staff and set aside like any other pickup service that’s offered today,” Edgerton said. “We just ask that students bring their PantherID and order confirmation to pick up their order.”
The closet is open to all students of the Atlanta and Perimeter campuses, but pickup is only available at the Atlanta Campus, according to Erin Thomas, the Career Services marketing specialist who helps run the store. Career Services hopes to be able to send ordered items to other Georgia State campuses in the future.
Shoppers are permitted to order as many items as needed to make a complete outfit, but are asked to limit each order to five to six items to ensure clothing remains available to students who need it.
Along with clothing, accessories and shoes, gsucareercloset.com also offers helpful blog posts on creating first impressions and dressing for various business environments, online meetings and interviews.
Students who visit the Career Services office can also take advantage of do-it-yourself professional headshots in the department’s Iris Booths.
“When a student accesses the closet or comes in to take photos in our Iris Booths, we can use that as a touchpoint to engage students on other things we do,” Neiner said. “We can say, ‘Let us do a mock interview with you. Let us review your resume and make sure it’s all polished up. Let us talk with you about negotiating a job offer.’ It brings them in and helps us more effectively achieve our overall mission.”
Video by Austin Birchell, Julian Robert, Riki Kujanpaa and William Davis