By Cristina Gomez, Ranger Reporter:
Having a job interview in itself can be terrifying enough, now add to that the lack of proper attire to go with the nerves. According to Jordan Herrera, director of social services, Amarillo College students often lack the resources to access proper interview outfits.
However, AC has a clothing closet specifically to help these students confidently walk in to their interviews.
In 2012, Renee Weiss, former director of career and employment services, started the clothing closet in the Career Center. In the summer of 2015, the Advocacy and Resource Center took over the program. “When it first started it was really only to provide business attire for students going on interviews,” Herrera said.
Having proper interview clothing can have a big impact on the hiring process, Mitch Parker, current director of career and employment services, said. “You have one chance to make a good impression, and one of the main ways to make a first impression is by our attire.”
“It’s an outstanding program. It provides students the wonderful opportunity to make sure they’re dressed professionally for their upcoming interview,” Parker said.
Recently, the program has evolved to include more than just professional attire.
“Now we’ve really just developed it to be a clothing closet with a variety of clothes,” Herrera said.
The clothing closet now provides casual clothes along with the traditional professional clothes to accommodate more students going through various situations.
“Many times students find themselves in situations where they’ve abruptly had to leave their home or there was a fire or things get lost, and we want to have clothing that students can casually wear and not just have them walking around in a suit and tie,” Herrera said.
Many students are not even aware of this service. “I think this needs to be talked about more. It could really help so many classmates we see every day that nobody notices are struggling,” Yessenia Gomez, a pre-med major, said. Herrera said she wishes to do more marketing and advertising to bring awareness, as well as donations, to the clothing closet.
The clothing closet is open to all AC students, the only requirement being that the recipient is enrolled in classes at the college. There is no limit on how many times students can visit the closet or how many outfits they receive. Since the Advocacy and Resource Center has taken over the clothing closet, it has helped over one hundred students. Herrera said, “It is very underutilized in comparison to our food pantry. We’re really evolving. It’s in the works but we’re getting there.”
To receive assistance from the clothing closet, simply visit the Advocacy and Resource Center in the first floor of the Ware building. “I’m really glad programs like this exist. You never know just how much students are going through and how badly they could really be needing those outfits,” Gomez said.