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The second JCPenney Suit-Up is expanding to serve students at SDSU-Imperial Valley. The second JCPenney Suit-Up is expanding to serve students at SDSU-Imperial Valley.
 


Partnership Offers SDSU Students Access to Discounted Professional Attire

The JCPenney Suit-Up event is set for San Diego and El Centro on Sunday, Sept. 9.
By Michael Klitzing
 

“Students are empowered to purchase clothing and other discounted services that will help them build confidence and presence to secure employment.”

San Diego State University graduate student Diana Hernandez grew up in a household where money was often tight, and paying her own way through college didn’t exactly change that equation. As a result, the master’s student in post-secondary educational leadership often found herself struggling to cobble together suitable attire to wear at her office job.

“I had maybe three really solid pieces,” Hernandez said. “After that, I was really scrambling to make it work.”

Thanks to an SDSU Career Services and JCPenney partnership that returns on Sunday, Sept. 9, her closet is now fully stocked with sharp, professional clothing. 

Hernandez was among approximately 800 students who attended the first JCPenney Suit-Up in January, taking advantage of a 40 percent discount and advice on dress apparel offered to SDSU students. 

“After the event, I felt a lot better,” she said. “I’ve never really had an opportunity like that—I’ve always been low-income, so I really appreciate it. I think it’s important to make (professional) clothing more accessible.”
 

Suit-Up returns

The second JCPenney Suit-Up is expanding to serve students at SDSU-Imperial Valley. The event, which offers men’s and women’s dress apparel discounts, will take place from 5-9:30 p.m. at the Fashion Valley mall JCPenney store in San Diego and from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Imperial Valley Mall JCPenney store in El Centro.

“The most important thing this provides is access,” said James Tarbox, executive director of SDSU Career Services. “Students are empowered to purchase clothing and other discounted services that will help them build confidence and presence to secure employment. They can build a professional image at career fairs and other networking events and dress for success as they start internships, field work and other high-impact practices within our community.”

The Suit-Up event was timed to coincide with SDSU Career Services’ Fall 2018 Career and Internship Fair, which takes place Sept. 12-13 at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Hazard Center in Mission Valley. Check SDSU Career Services' website for information on additional career fairs.

Guided experience

Career Services will provide all student attendees of the Suit-Up with a buyer’s guide, breaking down the professional wardrobe to help navigate the department store sections for men and women and offering tips on how students can establish and build their career closet. 

That’s important, Hernandez said, for students who were not exposed to professional careers growing up. “My parents really weren’t able to pass on to me how you’re supposed to dress in an office setting.”

With guidance from Career Services, Hernandez walked out of Fashion Valley in January with two pairs of pants, a blazer and three blouses—and quite a bit of confidence.

“The blazer is more for my interview look or if I’m presenting,” she said. “I feel like I can now go to my closet and see pieces I want to wear. I definitely feel like my confidence has gone up.”

To RSVP or for more information about the Suit-Up or other SDSU Career Services events, log in to Aztec Career Connection.