Office of Career and Professional Development Suits Up for a Grand Opening

  • Full-Size Image: Career Closet ribbon cutting
    Marjorie Ellis (second from left), executive director of Baylor's Office of Career and Professional Development, joined representatives from The Home Depot Interior Services on a ceremonial ribbon cutting for CPD's Career Closet. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
  • Full-Size Image: Career Closet interior
    A look inside the Career Closet, a new offering to students in Baylor's Office of Career and Professional Development. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
  • Full-Size Image: Career Closet Marjorie Ellis interview
    Marjorie Ellis, executive director of Career and Professional Development at Baylor, is interviewed inside the Career Closet, which provides students who may not have excess funds with free business and professional attire. (Liesje Powers/Baylor University)
  • Full-Size Image: Career Closet
May 17, 2018

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Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, 254-710-6275
Follow Baylor Media Communications on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (May 17, 2018) – Baylor University's Office of Career and Professional Development (CDP) is rolling up its sleeves and suiting up for the grand opening of its new Career Closet – a space designed to provide students who may not have excess funds with free business and professional attire.

CDP is composed of 21 professionals who work to encourage students through career exploration, professional development and readily available employment resources. This includes strategizing future employment, coaching for interviews, resumé writing and now, a place to dress for success.

"As we looked at students who were attending the career fair we found, overwhelmingly, that there was a large body of students who could not afford appropriate interview attire," said Marjorie Ellis, executive director of CDP. "We decided that if students were having trouble affording the clothes, we would like to be able to give them their first interview suit or outfit."

The creation of the Career Closet advances the CDP's long-term "Success Beyond Baylor" initiative. Construction of this clothing zone was gifted by The Home Depot earlier this year.

"We want to be a one-stop-shop for students," Ellis said. "We have a lot to offer students, and we hope that they continue to learn about who we are and that we can encourage them to come by and utilize our office often."

A visit to the Closet will not require an appointment and is open to all enrolled Baylor University students. Career Closet hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays, and if a student is in need of an alternate time, CPD is open to further conversation.

"The Career Closet is pivotal in helping them complete that whole picture," Ellis said. "We look the part and can articulate our skills and that we are the top talent that you're looking for."

The Closet is filled with new clothing, thanks to the JCPenney Suit Up BU discount and monetary donations. However, clothing drives likely will become necessary as the Closet continues, Ellis said.

Clothing that is in good condition can be donated at the CDP office throughout the year, and a clothing drive will be hosted each semester to help increase inventory. The focus of the drive is to acquire interview-appropriate, excellent-to-good quality and in-style clothing items and accessories. Specific needs and guidelines can be found on the Career Closet website. In addition to support through clothing donations, the Closet benefits greatly from monetary donations. The supplementation of inventory and other career development-related items is made possible with additional financial support.

The Career Closet will debut at a grand opening at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at the CPD office.

The grand opening will begin with a private lunch for employees of The Home Depot, whose help made the Career Closet possible. According to Ellis, the idea caught the attention of the company while planning a design for the closet. When it was discussed at the corporate level, a member remembered getting his first suit from a career center as a student and wanted to give back.

"They installed the entire closet for free," Ellis said. "It looks like a high-end closet that you would have in a really nice home."

Following the lunch, a public reception will be held at the CPD with baked goods and giveaway items. An honorary plaque will be presented to thank The Home Depot, and a golden bear with a plaque on it will be presented to guests from The Home Depot.

For additional information, please contact (254) 710-3771.

by Liesbeth Powers , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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