College of Business

Professional Attire Fund Helps Students Dress for Success

As business students approach graduation, they are often presented with opportunities that require professional business attire such as applying for an internship, participating in a student competition, or interviewing for their first job out of college. But for students with limited means, purchasing professional attire is often a luxury they can’t afford.

The College of Business Student Success Center (SSC) provides tools and resources to help students achieve their academic and professional goals, and in 2017, the SSC established the Professional Attire Fund to support students facing economic hardship. As of spring 2022, 168 students have received funding, with an astonishing 612 applications submitted. 

Professional Attire Fund recipient Pranav PatelPranav Patel, one of last year’s fund recipients, shared how boosting his professional business attire has made a difference in his life:

“For me, receiving professional attire funds meant being able to walk confidently, look presentable, and stand out from the crowd. Not only has this attire lasted me throughout my college experience, but it will help me progress in my professional career. The confidence I have experienced has made a huge impact on my internship performance, academics, and my outlook on opportunities.” 

Patel graduates in spring 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance. He is receiving honors in general education, honors in the major, and Magna Cum Laude honors.

Professional Attire Fund recipient Rodaisha James is photographed in the George Petersen Rose GardenFor Rodaisha James, acquiring new business attire through the Professional Attire Fund helped her gain confidence, driving her to explore more opportunities than before. James graduates in spring 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in administration with an option in project management and a degree in Asian studies.

“The Professional Attire Fund allowed me to focus on my skills and knowledge rather than worry about my physical appearance. The fund was so impactful for me, and I hope it continues to grow to support more students,” James said.

Alumna Marti Easton Sutton (Business, ’92) found that she could relate both professionally and personally to the goal of the Professional Attire Fund, and the Sutton Family Foundation continues to be the largest donor to this initiative. Sutton knows that today’s students have an even tougher time getting a start in the professional world if they cannot dress the part that employers demand. As a commissioner on the Human Services Commission and chairperson of the Las Positas College Foundation, Sutton helps create a climate that lifts citizens and students out of poverty by supporting programs that help to transform lives.

“[My husband] John and I believe that everyone deserves an education, and financial challenges should not be a barrier to this goal,” said Sutton. “When students have worked so hard to earn a degree, they deserve interview clothes that will give them the confidence to walk into that room and get the job to launch their careers.”

In addition to the Professional Attire Fund, the College of Business Student Success Center offers students free tutoring services, professional development workshops, a Special Activity Club grant, a professional space to study, and so much more. You can help support students in their efforts to learn, graduate, and succeed by giving today.

Glenn Hall

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