By TYLER ELLYSON
KEARNEY – University of Nebraska at Kearney students don’t need to drop a few hundred dollars to look sharp at their next career fair or job interview.
They can pick up professional attire for free without leaving campus.
The College of Business and Technology Career Closet has dress shirts, pants, jackets, belts and ties that can be rented at no cost.
“There are a lot of students coming into college who don’t have a suit,” said UNK graduate student Seth Taylor of Ainsworth. “I know that’s not something everyone can afford, so we’re providing access without the price tag.”
Taylor, who is pursuing a Master of Business Administration, handles marketing for the Career Closet, which opened last semester in Room E121 inside West Center. Organizational and relational communication major Austin Truex, a sophomore from Norfolk, manages the day-to-day operations.
“We’re getting quite a bit of traffic,” Truex said. “As we increase our marketing, I think more people will see this resource and start using it.”
The Career Closet has both men’s and women’s attire in various sizes. The clothing is available to any UNK student or employee.
Truex said most people rent the clothing for about a week for job interviews, career fairs and other professional events. However, it’s available “for as long as you need it.”
“We’re fairly flexible with our rental periods,” Truex said, noting that the Career Closet takes care of the cleaning when items are returned.
The Career Closet is open 9-11 a.m. and 1:45-2:45 p.m. Mondays; 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesdays; 10-11 a.m. and 2-5 p.m. Wednesdays; and 9-11 a.m. Fridays. Appointments can be reserved online, and walk-ins are also welcome. To schedule an appointment outside regular operating hours, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Career Closet is part of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development and the College of Business and Technology Career Center, which used funding from a Principal Foundation grant to purchase the initial inventory. Taylor and Truex plan to expand and diversify the selection by partnering with businesses or requesting donations from the UNK and Kearney communities.
“We’ve been unable to do that because of COVID, but we’re hoping that we can start easing into receiving donations,” Truex said.