The Career and Scholarship Center recently hosted “Clothes the Deal: Your Fashion Runway to Success.” The event, held in the Center for the Arts Atrium, involved both students and faculty “dressing for success.”
The fashion show, coordinated by Chris Carbone and Cheryl Barzey of the Career and Scholarship Center, demonstrated for students how they should dress for that all-important job interview or first job. “The purpose is to bridge the gap between student and professional,” Carbone said. “Most students,” he continued, “do not come from white-collar backgrounds…they don’t know that they need to know these things.” Jeanine Sledge, a junior Business Management major at CSI and one of the event’s many student volunteers, reiterated that statement saying, “most students out of high school don’t know this part.”
The runway show, which had diverse models, consisting of both students and faculty members, showcasing a variety of business outfits, was the highlight of the event, but it was the post show that may have had the biggest impact.
After the show, the students in attendance were able to speak with representatives from the Small Business Development Center, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Women’s Leadership Council. The professionals advised students on their career wardrobe by helping them pick out clothing from the “career closet,” a veritable department store of business clothing donated by the CSI community and many local clothing stores. They also provided invaluable advice on preparing for job interviews and the upcoming CUNY Big Apple Job Fair.
Carbone mentioned that the event’s purpose was two-fold: to hold a relaxing, fun event where the students learn something about the world outside the classroom, as well as “help educate the community about the young professionals attending and graduating from CSI.”
This was the second runway show that the Career and Scholarship Center has held, generating a lot of community attention from local retailers. Some of those who were in attendance were MYM Suits, Sears, Ann Taylor, and Men’s Wearhouse. The retailers offered discounts for all in attendance and had tables where attendees could browse through clothing and get fashion advice from the representatives. Jeanine Sledge called the show “liberating.” She went on to explain that she had “always wanted to do this,” referring to organizing a large, multi-layered event. “College is about molding.”
Overall, the event played to its dual purpose perfectly, offering students a chance to learn about real-world situations in a more casual, energetic atmosphere, as well as showing the professionals in attendance that CSI’s students are serious about entering the workforce and becoming effective and dynamic members of the community.