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Memorial Union holds free business attire pop-up

Memorial+Union+holds+free+business+attire+pop-up
Katlyn Campbell

The cost of professional attire can pose a serious financial burden to college students and young professionals. In hopes of providing Iowa State students with attire for job interviews and career fairs, the College of Design Multicultural Student Success Office hosted its Business Attire Pop-Up Shop, offering free professional attire to all students. 

Hosting its first event in 2017, The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop had previously been held in Lebaron Hall. As the event has progressed and gained popularity over the years, the group looks to become an official university-recognized student organization, similar to Iowa State’s SHOP food pantry. The group has already appointed several organizational officers including a president, treasurer and social media specialist. The soon-to-be organization has also found a permanent location within the Multicultural Center in the Memorial Union. With its newfound home, The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop seeks to remain open year-round rather than the previous pop-up shop held once each.

“It’s just a really great initiative to help students on a budget who might not be able to afford professional clothing,” Sara Mejia, social media and promotion specialist for The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop said. “It also just helps with the financial burden of trying to get a job. It’s very intimidating to go to an event like a career fair and not have the appropriate clothing.”

The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop holds restrictions for those looking to pick out some new attire outside of being enrolled as an Iowa State student. The organization plans for all of its items to remain free for students as it expands into its new permanent home. The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop receives donations from a variety of sources to keep their shelves stocked. Unlike thrift stores, however, all donations are utilized and no contribution ends up being tossed in a landfill.

“It’s a very sustainable initiative, where we’re just trying to get as much clothing as we possibly can from the local community to help students with the career fair and other professional endeavors,” Mejia said.

While its permanent location has not officially opened, The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop has continued to hold its two-day semesterly pop-ups this year in hopes of attracting more student attention before its official launch.

“Students should definitely take advantage of this while they have the opportunity… as someone who recently graduated, you’ll never find an opportunity like this,” Mejia said.

Deion Ward, a freshman in marketing, attended the event in hopes of finding some new attire for the upcoming career fair. 

“People come from all sorts of different backgrounds so sometimes affording proper professional clothes can be hard,” Ward said.

Ward stated that he hopes to see similar events hosted at Iowa State in the future such as one that provides free school supplies for students.

Breawna Neely, a junior studying anthropology and Tisha Vanden Bosch, a sophomore in biochemistry, said they stopped by the event in hopes of stepping up their wardrobes as they begin their professional careers.

“I really just need some new stuff for interviews, get a little more spiffed up,” Vanden Bosch said.

“Clothes are expensive… so it really helps for the career fairs and feeling more presentable,” Neely said.

The Free Business Attire Pop-Up Shop will hold the second leg of its event from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Thursday in the Memorial Union’s Multicultural Center.

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