Professional attire can be costly, but luckily Stan State’s Career Services team and JCPenny have teamed up to make the interview process a little less stressful.
JCPenny’s “Suit-Up” event is a nationwide campaign that provides students and alumni of partnering schools with a 30% discount on select professional clothing.
Saturday was the first of two “Suit-Up” events this academic school year that are being held at JCPenny’s Vintage Faire Mall location in Modesto. According to Stan State’s recruitment and career specialist Rebecca Stephens, JCPenny reached out to career services initially about this event during the spring of 2018, and they jumped at the opportunity.
“Stan State has a high first-gen population and is an HSI institution. A lot of students don’t really know exactly what employers are looking for, so this event is a really good opportunity to help guide students in the right direction,” Stephens explained.
She believes that career services’ involvement at this event can really help out participants when they are shopping so that they can put together the right look for the appropriate situations.
The store is closed to the general public during the time of this event so that the Career Services team and the JCPenny staff can focus solely on helping Warriors find exactly what they need.
Stephens also added that clothing is not the only thing that the career services and JCPenny teams can assist with while at this event.
“The salon and the Sephora store inside this location can help out with professional hair styles and makeup," Stephens explained. "Many times, students don’t know when to tone it down so they can be a real help. The photo studio also offers headshots for business profiles like LinkedIn."
With all that this event has to offer, it is easy to see why the event has gained so much popularity.
“This is the fourth semester that we are doing this event. We are thankful that the word is getting out. Right now, we’re averaging about one student walking through the doors per minute,” stated Julie Sedlemeyer, director of Stan State’s career and professional development center.
One of the students that walked through those doors was Kevin Kelleher (senior, Accounting and Finance). Kelleher found out about the event when he visited the Career Center and thought that he could really benefit from it, considering that he runs the Accounting Society and is planning on attending several networking events in the near future.
“Just being able to get a suit is so important for me and so many other students. I know they’re really expensive, so it’s a cool thing that they’re doing this for students who are going from their student lives into their professional lives and need professional wear. I absolutely recommend this for anyone,” Kelleher expressed.
Although there were plenty of students like Kelleher who took advantage of this event, there were also many Stan State alumni.
Cristian Patino discovered the event through social media and was persuaded to participate as well. Patino says that his current job does not require any professional clothing, nor does he plan on attending an event any time soon that would require a suit, but he realizes just how pricey these outfits can be.
“This event helps a ton because of the discount. You need to look and dress good sometimes, so it’s great to buy something like this just in case and also just to have some nicer clothes in general,” Patino said while holding his newly acquired outfit.
No matter the reason or the circumstances, all students and alumni are allowed to take part in the JCPenny “Suit-Up” event. Additionally, registration is not required to participate, only proof that you are or have already attended Stan State.
By taking advantage of this program, Warriors can let potential employers and peers know that they mean business at a discounted price.