The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio
The Right Clothes for the Job
For this project, we produced a story about the ways the Career Closet has helped students earn jobs as well as prepare students professionally for their careers. More In This Series »

Closet Prepares Career-Minded Students

Closet Prepares Career-Minded Students - The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Juan Crespin, one of the staff of Career Services, helps student Blanca Banda select from one the many outfits in the Career Closet

Criminology major Gustavo De La Fuente first heard about Texas A&M University-San Antonio when he attended a college fair.

“It definitely intrigued me, so I came here,” De La Fuente said. “I learned about Career Services through my success coach.”

De La Fuente, who now works for Intramural Sports, used Career Services to help him apply for the job. De La Fuente took full advantage of the Career Clothes Closet and found an outfit for his interview.

“The career closet is a service for our students. We have students who definitely need clothes for interviews, anything in a professional-type setting, or a career fair,” said Gabe Barrientez, career advisor at A&M-San Antonio. “We offer it to the students free of charge.”

The Closet offers a wide range of services for students. During an Open House event on Tuesday Sep. 19, Barrientez detailed what Career Services and the Closet provide.

“If the student needs a suit or professional clothing, it’s available to them. They come in, preferably by appointment, to try on some clothing,” Barrientez said. “If they find a couple of pieces that fit, it’s actually theirs to keep.”

“I still have them, but I haven’t used them again,” said De La Fuente when asked about the outfit he chose.

In the hallway outside the Open House event, Career Services set up tables with clothes offered to students who dropped by.

Career Services offers career assessments, resume consultations and evaluations, mock interviews, and a job board for work-study and internship positions available on-campus, in addition to providing professional attire.

Barrientez urges students to take advantage and use what Career Services provides. He recalled two distinct instances that students found success after visiting Career Services.

“Probably the first student I met with; She was looking for a position in public health and she was able to utilize our resume services, as well as our mock interview, and she did get a position in public health,” Barrientez said.

“Another one, he was looking for a job here on campus, a work-study job. So he did utilize a majority of our services: resume, mock interview, cover letter, even went through our clothes closet and he got a position here on campus,” Barrientez said.

The Mesquite conducted a Twitter survey and found that of 44 participants, 39 percent had not heard of the Closet and 30 percent have visited on one occasion.

“I would tell any first-year student: look for opportunities, come visit us, take advantage of our services,” Barrientez said. “We want students to not only be successful in the classroom, but also make sure that they’re prepared to take that next step once they’re inching toward ending their college career.”

 
Gabe Barrientez, Career Adivisor at Texas AM-San Antonio discussed future plans for the Career Closet. Photo by Jared Van Epps
Gabe Barrientez, Career Advisor at Texas AM-San Antonio discussed future plans for the Career Closet. Photo by Jared Van Epps

Barrientez said he has big plans for the Closet, including expanding the wardrobe to include trendier styles. And, there’s bigger plans for Career Services such as bringing in students who are interested in higher education as a career choice.

Career Services will offer a NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program Interest meeting at 4 p.m. Oct. 3 in the Career Services office. Barrientez hopes to find students seeking a job in student affairs and education.

“Definitely hoping to get some students who are still kind of unsure what they want to do,” Barrientez said. “Maybe they’re like, ‘Hey, I want to work at a college like you do.’ So that’s what this opportunity is for.”

The Career Clothes Closet is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Book an appointment by calling 210-784-1356. More information can be found at: http://www.tamusa.edu/careerservices/studentsalumni/career-clothing-closet.html

About the Authors

Christopher Gutierrez
Christopher Gutierrez
My name is Chris J. Gutierrez. I am a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. I graduated from Northwest Vista College with two degrees (AAS in Digital Video & Cinema Production and AA New Media Communications). I am majoring in communication with a minor in business administration. During the course of my undergraduate career, I work full-time at Gunn Honda as a detailer. I also work on client videos and various types of productions. I enjoy being on set and doing promotional artwork using graphic design and visual effects. I hope to eventually work for an advertising agency or production company with hopes of opening up my own studio someday.
Selena Ortegon
Selena Ortegon
My name is Selena Ortegon, I am a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. I currently work at Ann Taylor; I am Treasurer of the Radio, Television, Digital News Association student chapter, and a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. My hobbies include hiking, photography and binge watching Game of Thrones. My interests are broadcasting, radio, and advertising. My professional career goal would be to work for E! Entertainment.
Seth Ruiz
Seth Ruiz
My name is Seth Ruiz, I am a senior communication major with a minor in political science. I am graduating in december 2017. During my spare time, my wife and I attend City Church and I travel and ride my dirt bikes. I explored the real estate investing world over the summer, and I have established that this will be my career when I finish school. I believe regardless of profession being a strong communicator is a plus in any career field.

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