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Building the Baylor University Career Closet
For many college students, the burden of purchasing professional attire can be overwhelming. Many new professionals find themselves struggling to answer the question of what’s appropriate, how can I afford this?
Chandler Young, a junior at Baylor University, was no different. “As a business student, I always need business attire,” she explains. “I’ve seen other students like me panicking, trying to find an appropriate outfit for interviews or conferences.”
To help set students like Chandler up for success, Baylor enlisted The Home Depot Interiors (HDI) team in Austin to help create a program for students without the funds to purchase interview-appropriate attire with new and gently used professional clothes.
“Many of Baylor’s students are first generation [to attend college], and they come to campus with what they have. Sometimes that does not include a professional interview suit. They just wear what they wear every day to class,” explains Marjorie Ellis, executive director of the Office of Career and Professional Development at Baylor University.
The Home Depot team took it several steps further. HDI design consultant Donna Morgan partnered with Rubbermaid to donate an entire closet system, far superior to the wire racks or portable rods that Baylor expected. But they didn’t stop there – the team used the budget Baylor supplied to purchase a full suite of interview clothes for students.
So when Baylor’s Career Closet opened this spring, graduating students had the privilege of picking up a new suit and heading to their interview with confidence.
“It’s blessed my life and I know it’s blessed other students’ lives,” Chandler says.