Alice Zordan ’19 hears opportunity knocking at the Career Closet door

jgimm | Mon Nov 19, 2018

Among the many resources available to North Central College students is a unique program addressing an often-overlooked expense: dressing for success. Marketing major Alice Zordan ’19 made the most of the Cardinal Career Closet and it yielded tremendous dividends.

During this annual event, co-sponsored by the Offices of Student Affairs and Career Development, North Central students browse through professional clothing and choose an outfit to keep. Alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends of the College donate clothes over the course of the school year that the coordinators of the Closet collect for the event in January.

Last year, Zordan heard about the event through Cardinal First, the College’s first-generation student support program. “Interview season was coming up quickly and I could not afford to buy a suit at the time,” she said. “I really wanted to get valuable work experience and wanted to dress to impress, to let my interviewer know that I was up for the challenge.”

More than simply set out the clothes, students and staff from the Offices of Student Affairs and Career Development assist clothing seekers and advise them on putting together the most effective look.

“Going to the Closet felt like a boutique experience,” said Zordan. “I had 15 minutes by myself to browse the items available, put an outfit together and try it on in total comfort and privacy.

“I felt important. I felt like the opportunity to do well at an interview just dropped in my lap.”

Zordan put her suit to work at the Associated Colleges of Illinois (ACI) Career and Internship Fair hosted by North Central in March.

“I had attended workshops and prepared my résumé weeks in advance, and I was one of very few people dressed as one should be for an interview,” Zordan said. “The impression the recruiters got was that I was ready for a challenge in the job market. Among dozens of students showing up in comfy clothes, they saw readiness in how seriously I took the fair.”