It’s common knowledge that what you wear to a job interview can be as important as what you have to say during it. But just as all candidates are different, so are their wardrobes, and for those struggling to emerge from poverty, obtaining business-appropriate attire can be more difficult than even the toughest of interview questions.
Fortunately, as Scarlett Montenegro ’14 discovered when she attended an event in her native Florida over the 2010-2011 winter break, the nonprofit organization Dress for Success is connecting disadvantaged women with the clothes they need to get hired. In addition to providing professional attire, the program offers networking support to help its participants succeed both in and out of the office.
The December event featured E! News anchor
“The CDC aims to foster in students the confidence and character that go hand-in-hand with savvy decisions about dress, self-presentation, and all that goes into making a lasting, positive first impression.”
“Scarlett is a woman of promise and passion and her future is bright,” said Gordon. “Her ability to garner the support of an entire community of students and alumnae is impressive and we are so grateful to her commitment to Dress for Success.”
Montenegro, who is one of Mount Holyoke’s Posse scholars, hopes the event will provide other students with the same kind of networking support she’s received through the Posse program. “I want to talk to the girls on campus about what they can do to better themselves for interviews and career opportunities,” Montenegro said. “I think it’s important to give back to Mount Holyoke because I had a wonderful first year at the College, thanks, in part, to the CDC. Other students may not be aware of all the help that we have on campus, and at the Dress for Success event, we’ll be featuring the Career Development Center.”
“I know the Dress for Success mission is to empower women to start their professional careers, and as a women’s college, I think it would be great to promote that.”
If you'd like to donate clothing to the Mount Holyoke Dress for Success event, or support the initiative in any other way, contact Scarlett Montenegro at Monte22s@mtholyoke.edu.