CLDC’s Career Closet expands to larger space, provides students professional attire

As many Ohio University students are preparing to dive into summer internships and employment opportunities, they may want to make one stop before departing the Athens Campus – the Career and Leadership Development Center’s (CLDC) newly expanded Career Closet.

Located within the CLDC on the fifth floor of Baker University Center, the Career Closet aligns with the CLDC’s mission to assist OHIO students in developing career and leadership skills designed to meet the needs of today’s employers by ensuring that they are dressed for success. The Career Closet provides students with business-appropriate clothing free of charge, allowing them to dress professionally for everything from career fairs to employment interviews.

Launched in 2015 through the Office for Diversity and Inclusion, the CLDC assumed ownership of the Career Closet in the fall of 2016 and began expanding its services. More than 60 Ohio University students have utilized the service since then, and an influx of donations to the Career Closet has necessitated an expansion of the facility. The Career Closet recently located to a larger room at the CLDC. 

“Selling yourself to an employer has multiple stages,” explained Zachary Graman, the graduate assistant for student and employer opportunities at the CLDC and the direct supervisor of the Career Closet. “The initial stage is that visual stage in which an employer notes the attire you arrive in, prior to even greeting you. For this reason, students should visit the Career Closet to acquire professional attire to ensure they look their best on the day of their interview.”

A first-generation student, Graman understands the importance of providing a resource like the Career Closet to students who are often cash-strapped and may not have access to career-appropriate attire. He noted that the Career Closet offers a wide variety of men’s and women’s clothing, ranging in size from extra-small to extra-large and in style from business casual to professional and formal attire.

“It’s a great service that helps de-stress the career-search process,” Graman said, adding that students who select clothing from the Career Closet are allowed to keep the clothing they select. “Students should utilize the Career Closet because it’s practical.”

Lauren Rhines, a senior studying retail merchandising and fashion product development, helps facilitate the Career Closet, organizing inbound and outbound clothing, creating and maintaining the venue and assisting fellow students with functional and aesthetic needs.

“Professional dress is vital to a student's college career and can positively change the course of their future,” Rhines said. “This resource is so simple for students to access, and the staff in the CLDC who assist students in their search for attire are all extremely helpful, knowledgeable and honest.”

Drawing on the knowledge she’s gained through her coursework, Rhines plays a hands-on role in helping students who come to the Career Closet create a look that best suits their specific professional opportunity.

“I have seen students grateful for the closet as a resource and relieved once they find items that will work for an event,” Rhines said.

Raegan Yuncker, a sophomore studying biological sciences, recently visited the Career Closet to find clothing for her summer interviews, meetings and volunteer opportunities.

“I didn’t realize there were so many options,” Yuncker said. “Students should take the 20 minutes to go to the CLDC and check it out because, if needed, it is better that you have appropriate clothing to wear for meetings or interviews.”

The Career Closet is available to students during set hours each semester. While appointments are preferred, walk-ins are accepted as space and staffing allows.

For spring semester 2018, the Career Closet is open from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, from 12:30 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays, and from 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Fridays.

For more information about the Career Closet, click here or email

April 24, 2018
Juli Holbert