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UB students "suit up" for their future

The university introduces its first Annual Career Day

By Althea Benloss
On November 15, 2011

The University of Bridgeport Career Services Center and the Save A Suit Organization banded together on Tuesday, November 15 from 3-6 p.m., to launch UB's first annual Career Day, entitled "Suit Up For Your Future." A total of 178 students signed up and the turn-out was phenomenal.

 Various tables were set up around the Social Room of the Student Center, which served different purposes, such as: Mock interviews with real professionals, Resume reviews, Linked In Photo booth (where students got a professional head shot taken to use on their Linked In profile photo, or in and other professional context), creation of free students business cards and more.

The most highlighted aspect of the event was the opportunity to obtain business attire for absolutely no cost. Suits for both men and women filled the clothing racks that were lined up on one side of the room. Students were found browsing the suits and items, provided by Save A Suit, at their leisure. Students from the UB Fashion Merchandising Department were also available to assist students who were indecisive.

Save A Suit is a nonprofit organization that began just a year ago and its founder, Scott Sokolowski, understands that there are college students who have some pretty basic needs—and one of them may just be appropriate attire. Sokolowski established Save A Suit after interviewing a young individual who was clearly not dressed for an interview. He asked him why he wasn't wearing a suit and the person replied, "I can't afford one." From then on, Sokolowski made it his mission to help kick-start college student's careers.

"The first 30 seconds is the most important," Sokolowski said. "I don't want anyone walking in at a disadvantage."

Tuesay's event happened to be Save A Suit's first big event that they have done. Numerous colleges have been getting in touch with this organization and "calling left and right."

"I saw a student walk out of here in tears," Save A Suit Chief Information Officer (CIO) Jessica Ewud said, "Because he got a free suit."

Ewud also made mention of a student who came in wearing a shirt and jeans, changed his clothes and walked out of the Social Room wearing "his first suit".

"Every student said ‘thank you,'" Ewud said. "[We received] positive feedback from everyone; and I was amazed how divers this college was and the ability to work together—[It was a] beautiful thing to see."

"Any student that needs a suit, we want to be able to give it to them," Sokolowski said as part of the organization's mission.

Ewud also said that there were no fitting problems. Students were able to come in, try on a suit and if it did not fit to their liking, alterations were done for free by the Fashion Merchandising Department students.

"[This event] was very student oriented," Sokolowski said. "We want to thank the University of Bridgeport."

Volunteer Leslie Tracey thought that the Career Development did a great job.

"I think the event is great," she said. "[It's our] first big event, so UB is pretty much on the map!"

Tracey said that "dressing well is something that should definitely be studied."

"Future employers have specifications [on what is appropriate]," she said. "Unfortunately, this is an image world and people are judged by their outer appearance."

Graduate Student Natasha Day appreciated all the information packets she received from Pitney Bowes (at the Resume table) and she enjoyed several other aspects of the event.

"I enjoyed the mock interview," Day said. "The fact that they're providing clothing for those that don't have the appropriate attire is a good thing."

Kingsley Udeh, another graduate student, said that he thinks this kind of event should be organized on a semester basis.

 

"It motivates and boosts students' confidence in acquiring skills geared toward employability in the larger society," Udeh said. "I was privileged to have my resume reviewed and restructured by one of the resume reviewing experts. To crown it all, I picked a free well-designed suit and shirt and neck-tie to match."

Corporate Recruiter of Pitney Bowes Veretta Bass-Addison said that they reviewed resumes. They sat down with students and helped them with their resumes.

"There is no perfect resume," Bass-Addison said. "Every resume is unique and you're trying to sell yourself."

Sokolowski encourages students to visit www.Saveasuit.orgas well as the Facebook page and support this organization.

 

Career Services is encouraging students to "save the date" and attend the Spring Job Fair on April 4, 2012 in Wheeler Recreation Center. 


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