Dressing the part

The Career Development Center at Baylor College of Medicine opened its doors to students in January 2016. Since its opening, the Center has been working hard to prepare students for job interviews and life after graduation.

Darius Devlin wearing his suit from CareerGear Houston.

Graduate student Darius Devlin wearing his suit from CareerGear Houston.

Recently, the Center launched a shadowing program, which pairs Baylor students with local businesses based on their individual career goals, such as industry research, consulting, biotech and pharmaceuticals.

“Through the shadowing program, we want to get Baylor students out into the community, building brand awareness for the College and setting up relationships that could later result in internships and have an impact beyond our campus,” said Reginald Toussant, manager of Career and Student Services at Baylor. “Many of our students may not have a budget to purchase a full suit to wear to a shadowing day or interview, so upon joining the Baylor team, one of my priorities has been to foster partnerships with local organizations to help outfit our students so they’re ready to take on a professional office setting and make a positive first impression.”

The Career Development Center has developed partnerships with Dress for Success Houston and CareerGear Houston, which help prospective employees look their best for job interviews. Dress for Success is a national organization that helps outfit women with business professional attire and accessories, while CareerGear does the same for men, at no cost. Provided proof of an interview or shadowing opportunity, both organizations will supply the prospective employee with a free, professional outfit.

In addition to making sure the students are dressed for the part, the Center also provides training in advance of the shadowing day to prepare the students for an office setting, covering topics such as etiquette, body language and establishing a professional network.

“We’ve gotten fantastic feedback, both from the students and the companies they’ve shadowed. This is truly a unique opportunity for our students to gain work and office experience and put themselves in front of people who make hiring decisions, without the stress of an interview,” added Toussant.

For those interested in donating clothing to Dress for Success or CareerGear, both organizations have donation links on their websites. For students looking for more information about how to get involved with the shadowing program, visit the Career Development Center in the Cullen building, Room 271A, during walk-in hours; Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m., and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. until noon.