“I don’t have any blazers,” said Jeremy Bohlmann, a senior in mechanical engineering. That was his simple reason for stopping in at the Career Closet (Union Room 198) this week to check out some clothes for upcoming job interviews.
“This was a great opportunity to try some blazers on and still stay within my college budget.
We’re all broke or we think we’re broke,” Bohlmann said.
The Career Closet, open from noon to 4 p.m. daily the week of Feb. 13-17 in its temporary location in the Union, offers students the opportunity to find suitable career clothes at a good price – free. Students can keep two items per semester.
With the upcoming Spring Career Fair Week (Feb. 20-25) that will bring more than 230 employers to campus, the closet is offering extra hours this week. During the rest of the semester, the closet is open Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Career Planning and Resource Center, Room 128 Mellencamp.
Bohlmann didn’t find a blazer that fit him, but he did find a dressy belt. His classmate, Stan Klimchuk, also a senior in mechanical engineering, came away with a nice tie.
“I have an interview on Thursday, and I’m trying to figure out an outfit,” said Erica Olson, a junior in information technology management in the Lubar School of Business who is trying for an internship in her field. She was looking for some options to pair with clothing she already had at home.
Many of the students who stopped by brought friends and classmates to help them pick out items.
Swati Sharma and Vibhuti Jansari, both doctoral students in microbiology, read about the Career Closet in an email and decided to check it out. Jansari said she was looking for good career clothes for both future job interviews and for her thesis defense. Both came away with attractive cropped jackets in black and white and bright pink. “I have some pink slacks that will match this jacket,” said Jansari, “but if it doesn’t match those, I have many other things I can wear with it.”
Students also got advice from the staffers from the UWM Career Planning & Resource Center who were helping out, as well as from a volunteer helper.
Peter Callaghan, a sophomore majoring in finance, helped Jesse Reinhardt, a doctoral student in microbiology, find a blazer that would work for both an upcoming presentation and future job interviews. Reinhardt wanted to pair the jacket he found with jeans and a shirt for his presentation, and Callaghan gave him advice on shades of jeans that would work, and suggested a white shirt. The jacket fit pretty well, but Callaghan, who worked for a year at Brooks Brothers and had training from his mom, was able to suggest some quick tailoring fixes that would improve it.
“I wanted to help other students succeed at UWM, and because I have this set of skills, I thought I could help out as a volunteer,” Callaghan said.
The UWM Career Planning & Resource Center opened the Career Closet in fall 2016 to help all students obtain professional business attire for job interviews, networking and career fairs.
The closet is always looking for donations of new or gently used clothing. Donations of money are also welcome. Right now, the closet needs men’s clothing in particular. Clothing items needed include: suits, skirts, pants, khakis, polo shirts, button-down shirts, blouses, dresses, ties and shoes.
Donations can be dropped off during regular business hours at the career center. Clothing should be clean, in good shape and free of stains. For more information, call 414-229-4486.