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Raiders’ Closet helps students dress for job-hunting success

MTSU students looking for appropriate clothing for job interviews need look no further than their own campus with the creation of Raiders’ Closet.

The Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship will debut the repository of professional attire from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, in Room 130A on the south side of the Business and Aerospace Building.

Dr. K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb of MTSU’s Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship displays some of the professional wear that will be available free from the new Raiders’ Closet for job-interviewing students. (MTSU photo by News and Media Relations)

Raiders’ Closet will be open each Friday at that same time so that students from Phi Beta Lambda may collect donations of clean, gently-used men’s and women’s clothing in all sizes and help students find what they need.

Dr. K. Virginia Hemby-Grubb, an expert on business etiquette and comportment, came up with the idea. Some of the business suits and dresses currently on the racks were hers.

“In the process of losing 60 pounds, I lost a whole closet full of nice clothes,” said Hemby-Grubb. “I have a lot of women’s suits in various colors, and they’re in good shape.”

The closets in Room 130A run the width of the room. The closet on the left side will serve as a dressing room.

Dr. Jim Burton, outgoing dean of the College of Business, donated seed money for rolling clothing racks, and Hemby-Grubb purchased size dividers and vinyl coverings to protect the garments.

“We’d really like to see this grow into a university community project and grow into a larger space in time if we need it,” Hemby-Grubb said.

Raiders’ Closet will accept donations of suits, ties, dresses, blouses, shoes, accessories — anything one might wear to a job interview.

“We’re not accepting things you would take to Goodwill just to clean out your closet,” she said. “We want our MTSU graduates to come out of here looking professional.”

Unfortunately, she added, too many students either can’t afford business clothes or have mistaken ideas about what to wear.

Some students go to career fairs looking as though they just rolled out of bed, Hemby-Grubb said, while others seem to think tight, low-cut dresses and high heels or displaying body piercings and tattoos in a business setting is appropriate for a first impression.

“You should spend the time and the effort to put on a suit and tie, or in a woman’s case, a suit with a nice blouse,” Hemby-Grubb said. “These people are taking time out from their busy day to interview you because they thought your resume was impressive enough to schedule an interview, so show them the respect they deserve.”

Students will be allowed to take and keep their fashion selections for no charge. Donations may be made at Raiders’ Closet each Friday or in the Business Communication and Entrepreneurship office in Room 429N of the Business and Aerospace Building between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, contact Hemby-Grubb at 615-898-2369 or virginia.hemby-grubb@mtsu.edu or Jaye Kiblinger at 615-898-2902 or jaye.kiblinger@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)