Dress to impress; it pays off

As college students, dressing professionally may be costly but will be worth it in the long run

Ferris students are used to pulling out jeans and a T-shirt to start their day, but often stumble when faced with high heels or the art of tying a tie.

During my internship this summer, I was faced with the daunting prospect of trying to figure out how much I needed to dress up. I’m a country girl, a tomboy. I never like dresses or styling my hair.

I looked in my closet and found jeans, T-shirts, sweatshirts, and one pair of slacks. Not quite the professional wardrobe I was hoping to find. I had only one sweatshirt without a hood, and that is necessary in a ridiculously air-conditioned office.

I bought a couple pairs of slacks and managed to scrap through my internship. Hey, I’m on a student’s budget! What worries me is that I graduate in a couple of months and don’t have the professional wardrobe; at least not a fully stocked one. 

At the end of my internship my employer sat down with my academic advisor and me. During this time he gave me insight to what I did well and what I could stand to improve on. The only thing I could really improve, he said, was my professional attire.

Apparently, a pony tail (even if I am using a hair clip) is not professional. The only thing I could think of at the time was, “There are other ways to do your hair?”

I was sad I did not completely portray the professional image I wanted, but I gained some valuable insight I hope will serve me well upon graduation.

My employer and several websites on the Internet have giving me this advice: Knowing the dress code for the organization is a plus in knowing how to dress, but when you don’t know the dress code always dress conservatively.

You hear horror stories about candidates showing up to job interviews wearing baggy jeans or skirts that are too short. I’m sure you can guess these people were not hired.

I know in these economic times it can be hard to afford professional clothing, but there are ways to obtain them, even for us poor college students scraping by on Ramen and fumes in the gas tank.

The First Lady’s Attic in the Student Rankin Center helps FSU students who don’t have the funds to get professional clothes. I bet if you walked in there and talked with them they would even give you advice on how to dress for a job interview. I plan to go myself next semester before I graduate.

Before I know it it will be time to save the sweats and jeans for the weekends because high heels will dominate my weekday wardrobe. 

Take a look in your closet and see what you have in terms of professional clothes. Don’t wait until the last minute like I did to ensure that you have the right attire for the professional working world.