UNCW Dress for Success Fashion Show helps job seekers

by Megan Henry
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Supplied photo courtesy of UNCW Communication Studies Society 

Left: Mitchell Lee waits to take the stage at the 2012 Dress for Success fashion show, held by the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Communication Studies Society. 

Job hunters will get a leg up Friday, March 15, when the University of North Carolina Wilmington Department of Communication Studies hosts its eleventh annual “Dress for Success” Fashion Show at the Warwick Center Ballroom at 12:15 p.m.

Helping educate would-be job seekers on how to market themselves to potential employers, the event will offer interview tips and examples of appropriate professional attire, free of charge to both students and the general public. 

This year’s show, held in tandem with COM Studies Day, will be based on the idea of “finding your voice” in interviews and the workplace. Professor Jennifer Chin of the COM Studies Department, and founder of Dress for Success, cites the tough economic climate as the motivation behind the theme.

“If you’re looking for a job, it’s tough out there,” she said. “This year’s theme is especially relevant because I think we’re all in the process of finding ourselves and trying to persuade others that we’re the right fit for them at the right time.”

While those seeking employment may be feeling the strain of the stagnant job market, communication studies students participating in the event hope the show will give a more accessible perspective on the job hunt. 

Mitchell Lee, a COM Studies student modeling in the show, believes that personal style is an important way to express individuality, but acknowledges that many young people are unsure of what to wear in the workplace.

“I guess a lot of people are not aware of what’s appropriate for jobs and interviews,” he said. “The show helps people know they can dress as an individual and still be work appropriate.”

In keeping with the theme, the fashion show will also feature a prerecorded skit based on the popular television show, “The Voice.” The skit will feature several students auditioning in a competition to win their dream jobs by focusing on the skills, experience and personal qualities that make them stand out. 

Julie Andrews, a communications studies senior and co-coordinator of the fashion show, believes that “The Voice” skit is a valuable addition to the show due to the combination of helpful information and entertainment.

“I think it’s great because it helps people to learn more about the next step in their lives, and how to use the talents they already have to get them the job of their dreams,” she said.

Fellow co-coordinator Joy Ellis, also a COM Studies senior, agrees with the education as entertainment sentiment, hinting that a fun interactive element may be introduced later in the show. 

Ellis believes that the motivational skit, in addition to seeing the models express their individuality with professional clothing, will “help the audience find their own voice as well.” 

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