Dress for Success, Not Recess
A few summers ago I had the pleasure of working for a high-end public relations firm based out of the Midwest. The experience was wonderful, and extremely eye-opening. I interacted with some of the premier figures within the PR world. My internship consisted of media relations,event planning, and project coordination.
My final day at the firm found me in the CEO’s office with a rare chance to ask for advice. She informed me that one of the great issues with newlygrads in the workforce is their lack of professional dress. I asked further, specifically why this was. She informed me that many colleges and universities at the undergraduate level do not put an important enough emphasis on professional dress. Speaking personally, I can attest to my boss’s claim. In my undergraduate career we were only expected to dress business casual if we had a major class presentation.
I shared this with my boss and she said that probably the best course of action was enforcing a department-wide and specific dress code, in any appropriate major or concentration. Of course, in most graduate programs, including the Center for Information, Communication Sciences, there is a dress code expectation. However, as the majority of students don’t actually attend graduate school, they are entering the workforce literally looking unprepared and unprofessional.
On the final day of class as an undergrad I remembered taking stock of my fellow classmates. This was in late April, in that time of year when summer is approaching, but winter still influences the day. Specifically, the day was in the high fifties, and cloudy. In taking stock of my classmates I noted the high number of t-shirts, short skirts, and hooded sweatshirts; all of which would be severely out-of-place in the world of PR that these soon-to-be-grads would be entering. The perplexing thing was, the instructor really didn’t look much better. That day in question she was wearing a sweater of her alma mater, a definite no-no in the business world. So perhaps students take the unprofessional dress lead from their instructors. In any case, I feel that a departmental mandated dress code for appropriate majors would be a great help to these future employees.
For more information on the dress code for the Center for Information, Communication Sciences please visit bsu.edu/cics