Hundreds of Bryan School students took to the racks of the Greensboro JCPenney on Sunday hoping to find the perfect outfit for a killer first impression.
A line wrapped around the building as students waited to take advantage of heavy discounts on professional attire. A select group of students was in line for something even more impactful, as $16,000 in suit sponsorships were given out based on financial need and compelling applications.
Once inside, attendees were helped by JCPenney staff, Bryan School alumni, and volunteers ready to measure and offer advice. Also on hand this year? A DJ.
“It made it less stressful,” said Bryan School junior Angela Fetrat, commenting on the presence of a turntable at this year’s event.
Fetrat, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in consumer, apparel, and retail studies, is interning with Kontoor Brands. She and nearly 300 attendees came out to expand their wardrobe as they transition from college life to the real world.
“I’m pretty jazzed, yeah,” said Luke Pecor, a junior studying entrepreneurship and marketing. “Applying for internships is the main focus right now. And of course any kind of professional function, like career fairs or anything like that, I can have a suit to fall back on. Whereas before, I was just piecing things together.”
The Bryan School once again partnered with JCPenney to co-host the event. Students who received free suits made sure to show their gratitude to donors, penning thank you notes after ringing out at the registers.
“I had the ability to shop for my professional clothes without having to pay anything out of pocket,” said senior business administration major Cameron Warren. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude. My professional wear before this event consisted of pieces that I’ve had since high school and anything that I could’ve gotten my hands on in thrift stores. Now, I have several outfits that will give me the confidence I need to take on the professional world.”
Suit Up capped off this year’s Professional Development Week. Pecor says he’s thankful for all the development events put on by the Bryan School, particularly one that can help him look sharp at a potential interview.
“That’s your appearance, that’s going to be your first impression,” he said. “So, you know, I want to make sure I make a good one.”