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Tiger Career Closet helps students professionally dress for success

 

LaShanda Jordan JSU Executive Director Career Services Center gives Patrick Eldria, a sophomore business major his shopping bag filled with professional attire.

LaShanda Jordan, executive director of the Career Services Center, gives Patrick Eldria, a sophomore business major, his shopping bag filled with professional attire.

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Some students use the infamous plaza at JSU as a fashion runway.  Clothed in the latest trends reflecting creativity and comfort, students display their style preferences daily.

Higher education institutions often focus on enhancing a student’s personal growth, educational ethos, and academic excellence but JSU is also concentrating on professional dress. Introduced by Jackson State’s First Lady Deborah Bynum, the Tiger Career Closet is an initiative dedicated to offering professional attire to deserving students who are in need.

First Lady Deborah Bynum explains the purpose of her initiative, "The Tiger Career Closet provides a service at no cost to our deserving students who are in need of professional attire for job interviews, business meetings, career fairs and JSU events."

First Lady Deborah Bynum explains the purpose of her initiative, “The Tiger Career Closet provides a service at no cost to our deserving students who are in need of professional attire for job interviews, business meetings, career fairs and JSU events.”

“The Tiger Career Closet alleviates a financial burden from our students and increases their chances for greater opportunities at JSU and beyond. We understand that when students look their best, they do their best,” Bynum said.

Far too often, college students are expected to dress for success; but for many students, investing in a suit or dress for a class presentation, campus event or interview simply isn’t affordable.

"My experience here at the Tiger Career Closet has been simply amazing," says Toni T. Holloway.

“My experience here at the Tiger Career Closet has been simply amazing,” says Toni T. Holloway.

Toni T. Holloway, a third-year psychology major says, “I don’t have a lot of resources to buy professional clothes so for this concept to even be thought of shows that Mrs. Bynum and other committee members really care about JSU students.”

The Tiger Career Closet accepts gently used professional attire for men and women in order to maintain their stock for students. If there isn’t any appropriate attire available for interested students, Career Services staff will utilize other resources to ensure no students are excluded.

“I was unable to shop in the closet so Ms. Jordan and Dr. Cottrell used monetary donations to assist me with finding professional clothes at the outlet mall. My experience with them spoke volumes of their true intent to assist and serve the students at JSU,” Holloway said.

Many students have benefitted from the Tiger Career Closet since its inception.

Computer engineering major Demarco McDonalds says, “I was provided with a navy blue pinstripe suit. Seeing the impact that the Tiger Career Closet has on others is eye-opening. I’m glad that this opportunity has been made available for not only me but the entire student body.”

"The impact that the closet has made on me is phenomenal. The Tiger Career Closet actually goes the extra mile to make sure that JSU students have the proper attire for any occasion in a professional environment," Demarco McDonald said.

“The impact that the closet has made on me has been phenomenal. The Tiger Career Closet actually goes the extra mile to make sure that JSU students have the proper attire for a professional environment,” Demarco McDonald said.

LaShonda Jordan executive director of the Career Services Center says that it is her  “hope our students understand that the Tiger Career Closet is the result of someone caring enough about them in their undergraduate experience to have a service on campus that provides attire for professional occasions. This service should encourage our students to aspire to pay it forward by donating to the Tiger Career Closet so that the next generation can have the same opportunity to be successful.”

The Tiger Career Closet is located in the Jacob L. Reddix Building on the first floor and operated by the JSU Career Services Center. Students can visit www.jsums.edu/tigercareercloset to make an appointment.

For additional information, contact Ms. LaShanda Jordan at 601.979.2477 or tigers2work@jsums.edu.