Career Closet aids female students, provides free clothing


Career Closet, a resource at the Williamson House on campus, offers free business clothing to females in need.

Angela Radesic

The Williamson House is offering business apparel to female students and alumni in need through the Career Closet, an on-campus free resource.

“The Career Closet was birthed out of a partnership between The Women’s Center, Career Exploration and Development and Launch Net,” said Alicia Robinson, the assistant director of the Kent State Women’s Center.

Robinson said the campus initiative DEEDS originally came up with the idea for a program similar to the Career Closet.

Dynamic Engagement and Education of Diverse Students, otherwise known as DEEDS, is a program that began in 2016 to help students achieve success in schooling and their career path.

“One of DEEDS’s initiatives is a career pathway,” Robinson said. “So they were talking about doing (the) Career Closet, and then over here at the Women’s Center one of our board members had the idea too.”

Robinson specified that the two programs had different ideas initially and then joined them to become one big resource on campus.

“Around last March, we opened it and then we kind of got famous by accident,” Robinson said. “UCM did this story on KentWired, and it got picked up by (the) Akron Beacon Journal, then it got picked up by the Record Courier and”

Robinson said that after the story was published on various news outlets, they began getting flooded with clothing.

“We turned into a clothing shelter for like three months,” Robinson said. “We couldn’t even see the floor, and we didn’t know how to manage all the clothes.”

Robinson said that over the summer, their intern team sorted through all of the clothes and organized everything they received.

This consisted of donating of a ton of clothes that were too worn and not within style preferences of college students to other clothing shelters.

 “I really like what we do,” said Alexis Bishop, a senior public health major and Career Closet intern. “I hope that what we do gives people the confidence that they need for their interview.”

Bishop specified that as an intern she arranges the clothing brought into the Career Closet, decorates, sets up displays and helps organize events and pop-up shops.

Robinson said any female-identifying student is welcome at the Career Closet. Proof of student status with a FlashCard allows for three or four pieces of business attire.

Robison asked that people donate only gently-used or new clothing and jewelry for women.

 “We will have a lot of student organizations at the launch party,” Robinson said. “We want to bring everyone together to bridge the gap between fashion and career development.”

The Career Closet will have a launch party to reveal their collection Friday, Sept. 15 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Career Exploration and Development, along with other student organizations, will also be present at the launch party, contributing interview and resume tips to students.

“We would like to be a resource for students,” Robinson said. “So it’s one less thing that they have to stress about.”  

Bishop said she hopes people hear about it and choose to attend.

“I think that it is a really good resource on campus,” Bishop said.

Robinson said this semester there would be pop-up shops for students and alumni to shop at various career fairs around campus.

The Career Closet will be open from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“People should come to the launch party even if they don’t have an event coming up or if they don’t think they need to come,” Bishop said. “Anybody can use the tips and benefit from what will have here.”

 Angela Radesic is the student finance and jobs reporter. Contact her at [email protected].