Dress for Success: Baylor’s Career and Professional Development Teams Up with JCPenney for “BU Suit Up” for Students

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    Photos by Jessica Hubble with the Baylor Lariat
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    Photos by Jessica Hubble with the Baylor Lariat
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    Photos by Jessica Hubble with the Baylor Lariat
Oct. 12, 2017

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

Waco, Texas (Oct. 12, 2017) – Resume, check. Interview, check. Professional wardrobe, check. Thanks to Baylor University’s Career and Professional Development (CPD) and its partnership with a Waco department store, students from all majors were able to afford new professional outfits on a college budget.

This fall, CPD teamed up with JCPenney at Richland Mall for BU Suit Up, which provided students with discounted professional attire and other tutorials for the workplace.

More than 500 students participated in the event, sponsored by JCPenney and Sephora. Students expanded their professional wardrobes at a discount of up to 50 percent as they prepare to enter into careers in a variety of fields.

“The opportunity to get guidance on what to wear and to purchase clothes at a discounted price was incredible,” said Serena McArthur, a Baylor sophomore majoring in health science studies. “College students are constantly told how important it is to present oneself properly to a future employer. At the end of the day, we’re all just trying to be successful. I definitely do not have the funds to dress professionally every day in the workplace. I am very thankful for this event that allowed me access to the clothing I needed on a college budget.”

For the event, JCPenney held a private shopping opportunity for students, closing store doors to the public. Students with a valid Baylor ID were able to receive discounts on professional wear, such as suits, skirts, blouses, ties and pants. Students who checked in upon arrival were given an additional 40 percent off their purchase.

“I wasn’t able to afford a lot of slacks and button down shirts before this event,” said Joshua Rizzo, a Baylor senior majoring in graphic design. “Store employees helped answer the questions I had about professional attire and having a specific style. I was able to purchase a lot of professional attire that I wear daily at my new job. Dressing up gives me a lot of confidence everywhere I go.”

To complement the discounts offered by JCPenney, cosmetic retailer Sephora provided tips for women entering into professional careers.

Baylor CPD was pleased by the student attendance of this first-time event and hopes to continue this partnership into the future.

“One of the things that we do at CPD is our ‘career closet’ for students who don’t have proper interview attire,” said Marjorie Ellis, executive director of CPD. “We’ve been getting donations of suits and other professional attire. We have students who just cannot afford to go and buy new clothes and that is why we started this closet this year. We are hoping to do some continued work with JCPenney and other stores to be able to stock that career closet.”

CPD exists to help students accomplish four goals: career exploration, professional development, employer relations and alumni career engagement. Through a variety of events, career fairs, partnerships and lessons, Baylor CPD assists students in their career search every step of the way. CPD offers mock interviews, resume workshops, career, internship and graduate school fairs and weekly Tuesday talks on a variety of subjects.

Unlike other career programs, Baylor CPD starts pursuing students early in their college careers with events, such as resume workshops and its online database, Handshake. Students are encouraged to start their career search early, with CPD assisting them to best prepare for their future career goals. CPD’s events and resources are open to every student, and students are highly encouraged to take advantage of all they have to offer.

Following an extensive renovation, all of CPD’s offices and interview rooms now are located in the same wing of the Paul L. Foster Success Center in the Sid Richardson Building. The program has grown from seven employees to 27 since its foundation five years ago, and the new CPD wing allows students to meet all their needs in one place.

“We try to make this a ‘one-stop-shop,” Ellis said. “This is the semester that we have been able to have a whole wing dedicated to career and professional development. We are really excited that we now have our interview suites here, in addition to our career advisors and other resources. It truly has become a place where students can access everything they need to be successful.”

CPD’s website offers a wide range of resources for students, including interview tips, resume advice, job listings, internship sites and more. To learn more about Baylor Career and Professional Development, visit their website www.baylor.edu/cpd.

by Brooke Battersby, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 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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