“Dress for Success” Gives Women Students a Much-Needed Edge in the Job Market

Women students from the College of Staten Island had a unique opportunity to get a jump on the competition in the job market at “Dress for Success,” an event hosted by the CSI Career and Scholarship Center, in partnership with the Women’s Leadership Council and the SEEK for Excellence Club.

Kay Pesile, a City University of New York Trustee, who spoke at the event, said that “Dress for Success” was important for the attendees because the College “is showcasing its future leaders of commerce, public service, and education.” She added that the College’s approach to helping CSI students to enter the job market successfully is two-fold, “one from the classroom to guide the students and the other is to show them that there are other people from the professional environment who are here to offer assistance, guidance, and mentoring.”

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In the opening remarks, Career and Scholarship Center Director Caryl Watkins encouraged the students to meet with the women professionals in attendance and ask them questions, using those conversations, and the vast resources of the Center to gain the necessary insight and expertise to find meaningful careers.

In addition, in recognition of the first-ever partnership between the Career and Scholarship Center and the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC), Center Career Coach and emcee Christopher Carbone presented Paula Coyle, Director of the WLC, with a plaque of appreciation for the Council’s support of the College and its students.

Miriam Perez-Lai, Faculty Advisor for the SEEK for Excellence Club, also awarded plaques of appreciation to three SEEK students, Babatunde Adekanbi, Rewieda Othman, and Bilikisu Hassan, whose hard work helped to make “Dress for Success” a reality.

Trustee Pesile offered advice to the women, giving them pointers on how to conduct themselves in an interview and, as a source of inspiration, she ended with a story of a Staten Island woman who braved a snowstorm to get to a job exam in Manhattan. When she arrived after a three-hour trip to be informed that the business was closed, she insisted that the only person there give her the exam, anyway. That company rep was so impressed with her drive and determination that he hired the woman, who turned out to be Pesile’s mother, on the spot.

After the introduction and opening remarks, the students had the chance to enjoy lunch while they networked with the business professionals on hand. During the luncheon, CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales stopped by to talk with the students and thank the Career and Scholarship Center and the SEEK for Excellence Club for hosting the event and providing assistance to CSI students. Dr. Morales also discussed the value of community service and of students giving back to their community as well as how the College also gives back to students through events like this one.

After lunch, the attendees went to the West Dining Room to browse through a rack of pre-owned business suits that had been donated to the College. Each student was able to take a suit, as a first step toward jump-starting her career wardrobe.

L-R: Miriam Perez-Lai with SEEK students Babatunde Adekanbi, Rewieda Othman, and Bilikisu Hassan.

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