Cinderella could vouch that the right shoe can change your life.
Students who attended the Virginia Tech Career Outfitters event were curious to see how an entire outfit could do the same.
With students lined up before the first day of the event even began and eventually over 300 students served by the end of the day, there is an obvious need for business outfit advice.
Johanna Smith, assistant director of career services at Tech, said she did not know what to expect in attendance, but the students were overtly appreciative of the event.
“While they were here, a lot of students were appreciative and asked if we would do it again,” Smith said. “There are a lot of ideas coming around for how to do it twice a year.”
Donna Cassell Ratcliffe, the director of career services at Virginia Tech, said the professional environment is different from what students are used to, and the sooner students prepare for the transition, the easier it will be.
This includes knowing how to properly dress depending on the occasion and having those outfits prepared.
“We want to encourage students to consider their dress, their manner and all the ways they’re branding themselves,” Ratcliffe said. “You want to think about how you’re projecting yourself.”
Though the Career Outfitters event had specific clothing categories for various business functions from business casual to professional attire, Ratcliffe shared particular outfit advice for the daunting yet exciting first step into the business world: the interview.
She said the interview outfit can seem daunting to students, but it’s a sure way of putting the best foot forward.
“It’s better to err on the side of too professional than too casual, because the visual impression in the first five minutes has a major impact,” Ratcliffe said.
For students planning interviews or marking down career fair dates, one way of reducing stress, Ratcliffe suggests, is to invest in one interview outfit and always have it cleaned, pressed and ready to go.
“Plan each part of the interview outfit,” Ratcliffe said. “Plan head to toe, and put the entire outfit together.”