By Christian Manoukian
The Cal Poly Pomona Career Center hosted a grand re-opening event on Thursday celebrating the redesign and launch of the Career Center Clothes Closet.
In 2011, the Career Center started the Clothes Closet to provide students with the proper and professional attire needed for an interview, a career fair, a conference or for the first week of work.
Students and faculty alike gathered for an earlier, more informal Open House designed to raise awareness about what the Clothes Closet offers to CPP students.
Racks of both men’s and women’s clothes, shoes and accessories such as bowties, purses and jewelry were displayed and available for checkout in front of the Career Center from the start of the school day until past U-Hour.
Third-year aerospace engineering student John Gutierrez found the Clothes Closet as both an opportunity and a money saver.
“This would usually cost me a lot of money from my own pocket, and now I can get it for free”It’s pretty cool,” said Gutierrez.
“I think it’s such a beneficial thing for so many students that are in need of professional clothing attire,” said third-year early childhood studies student Noemi Gonzalez, who was helping students check out clothes. “Even for people who don’t need the Clothes Closet, these types of events provide an opportunity for students to come out and learn more about the Career Center and all the opportunities it offers CPP students.”
Cheryl Love, the coordinator for the Clothes Closet and counselor at CPP, called the Clothes Closet something “very close to her heart.”
According to Love, approximately 75 students utilize the Clothes Closet each quarter, but over 300 students attended the bi-annual open house. She also stated that when the Clothes Closet was closed during summer, the Career Center would receive daily calls from students asking when they could come by and pick up clothes for professional or work-related events.
“That’s when I knew”that we had arrived, in a sense. We can’t shut down for any reason now. It’s just crazy,” said Love.
She compared the enthusiasm over the re-opening of the Clothes Closet to “Black Friday or Christmas at Walmart.”
Love also went on to thank two emeritus faculty, Ed and Kathy Harcharik, who donated significant funds to the redesigning and renovation of the Clothes Closet space.
The Harchariks’ name will be the first to go on a commemorative plaque in the Clothes Closet dedicated to recognizing a person or persons that have gone above and beyond in providing students with professional business attire year-round.
The grand re-opening, which began at 4:30 p.m. in the Career Center, was attended by many distinguished guests, including President Soraya M. Coley, Career Center Director Tom Munnerlyn and apparel merchandising and management assistant professor Angella Kim, whose students helped with the redesign.
“We don’t see education as just connecting with the mind, but also encouraging, supporting, cultivating and really having students have a greater sense of self”This is just another great example of us trying to connect with what students need,” said Coley in her address.
“I just want to applaud all of you for the commitment that this reflects,” Coley added.
Fourth-year apparel merchandising and management student Michelle Waugh, who is on the Clothes Closet team this quarter, was delighted with the way the redesigned space turned out.
“It really has a boutique feel now, as if you’re going into a store,” Waugh said. “Being able to pick out clothes for free, as a college student tight on money, is very helpful, and I think it’s definitely something students will come to appreciate as this space gains more attention.”
Kim said over an email that she was “thrilled” to see AMM students applying concepts and skills they learned in the classroom to redesign the visual merchandising aspect of the Clothes Closet space.
“I look forward to seeing our students’ new ideas on creating a new inventory system unfold this quarter,” said Kim. “‘Dress for success’ is very important and I believe the Clothes Closet can help CPP students boost their confidence when they are entering their professional career.”
The Clothes Closet personnel are currently working on a new inventory management system to accurately catalog their back stock, so that they know what they have available to make the clothing search process more efficient for students in the future.
An open house is hosted each fall and spring the week before the career fairs for students to receive the chance to obtain a professional outfit for a potential employer.
The Clothes Closet is open to students from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Career Center, located in Building 97.
Christian Manoukian / The Poly Post
Career Center Clothes Closet reopening
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