Stories of Impact – Texas A&M University Career Closet
October 10, 2019
Here’s a thank you note from one of our students, “Dear donor, Thank you so much for supporting the Career Closet. In doing so, you helped me prepare for my career fair and have a great impression on potential future employers. I even received some compliments on my professional attire. Thank you so much.” When Mason Parish, Class of 2014, overheard a recruiter at a job fair discussing how he couldn’t hire a student because he didn’t dress the part Mason knew he needed to step up. Mason and his team enlisted the help of Chancellor John Sharp Class of ’72, The Association of Former Students, and other donors. From that support, the Texas A&M Career Closet was created and now has over 200 men’s and womens’ suits for students to rent for professional interviews. So when I jumped on in October, I was told that the plan was that we were going to raise money going to Aggie Mom’s clubs, going to different individuals asking them to sponsor a suit, then whenever that was done we’d buy suits and the goal was to buy 100 suits. Two weeks later after a football game Mason called me and was like, “Guess what we’re buying suits and we’re opening the closet in January. He loved it and decided to support us in that process so we used that money to purchase 200 suits so we doubled what we were expecting. And a whole lot faster than we were anticipating. And so once we had the suits we needed a place to put them. And we had talked with the University Center of Special Events and Neil about having a small room in Koldus that you know would possibly hold maybe 100 suits if that we were working out the details but then the number was 200 and we knew that wasn’t going to work So we continued to work with them and knew we would need to remodel a space. We reached out to The Association and they gave us $15,000 to remodel the room. After we visited, what they needed was space and they needed to renovate a space and so we provided funds that Mason directed actually towards getting their space renovated and setup for Career Closet as we see it today. I was thrilled that it worked out as well as it did and I’m so pleased that Mason came to us and let us be a part of that because I think it has had an impact at A&M. All that was done beginning of October, we opened January 19th with a celebration of where we had come So in less than 6 months we had doubled our dream gotten suits, gotten a room, organized a room and had it operational. Ever since I knew I had gotten into the business school I was super excited, as soon as I could I went and bought a business skirt and some business shirts and I was super excited about that but I know that some people don’t have that opportunity so I wanted to be a part of an organization that would allow students to have that opportunity. So when they come they’ll be fitted for a suit. For a man they’ll get a suit jacket and pants whereas a woman will have a choice between a skirt or a pant. I enjoy being over here, it’s so much fun to interact with the students and there is a confidence that comes from looking professional it’s almost as much for you as it is your employer or the person interviewing you because it feels good to put on a suit and tie and actually you feel special then. Here’s a note to a donor from a student who’s used our our services, “Thank you so much for your support of The Texas A&M Career Closet. Because of your support I was able to use a suit for my interviews for the professional program in accounting. I was able to get a second interview with a big 4 accounting firm.” So many of our students, I think, because of this experience of having seen directly an impact from donations or invested interests of former students have desire and a passion to be a part of this community even once they leave. So I think as people give to our organization they’re also preparing leaders who will be the ones to give for future generations. Through generous support from the Aggie Network, The Association of Former Students is able to make an impact on current and former students alike. Learn more about The Associations work and impact by visiting AggieNetwork.com today.