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Dress for Success Pop-Up: A Triumph for CSU Students in Need

Hundreds attend CSU's Department of Career Development & Exploration’s professional dress pop-up shop event aimed to help our Vikings' next steps

As graduation looms for many students, time grows short and is often full of decisions. Commencement and job hunting are usually at the top of every student’s list. “Looking the part” is usually too not far behind. That’s right: sorting out professional attire for those next employment steps can be fraught and daunting—particularly for those students in need who are already navigating some major life transitions!

Enter the CSU Department of Career Development & Exploration, or CDE as they’re known on campus!

On Wednesday, April 13, the CDE held a “Dress for Success Pop-up Shop” from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the second floor of Rhodes Tower West. The professional dress occasion was developed to help CSU students fortify their executive wardrobe, all while catering to the many shapes, sizes, styles and gender identities found in our diverse student body.

The pop-up paired up local non-profit organizations Dress for Success Cleveland and Passages with the CDE to help dress Vikings in need from head-to-toe—doing so at no cost to the students.

Giving students the chance to “feel more prepared going out into the world for internships, first destination jobs, or even for upcoming interviews” was critical to the event’s success according to Brittany Wampler, director of the CDE at CSU.

“I am really excited about making an impact like this, and hope that it happens each semester going forward,” said Wampler, adding that generous co-sponsorship support of Avient Corporation, Bellefaire JCB, Cleveland-Cliffs, Cross Country Mortgage, and Northwestern Mutual really made it all possible.

“Corporate sponsors from our recent career fair on March 2 helped fund this event, and we couldn’t be more excited to serve as many students as we can today,” she added. “It’s a positive, uplifting, and special day to help them shine and feel their best for whatever comes next!”

Wampler said that the inclusive shop expected to attend the needs of between 200-300 students—paying particular attention to professional dress for everyone regardless of their identity, size, or need. Dozens of eager students queued up down the Rhodes West staircase and outside, stretching all the way to the Michael Schwartz Library entrance, right before opening. All were eagerly awaiting a chance at some crisp, designer looks for work and interviewing.

Organizers said they expected to be busy right up to and beyond the 2 p.m. end time, assuming they didn't run out of attire.

“Part of our department’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Promise is, ‘We value the privilege in our role to pave the way, break down barriers to access, and help students achieve success,’” said Wampler. “We provide support to overcome obstacles and empower others to progress toward a successful and meaningful work life. An event like this really ties together everything else that our department does.”

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