Sunday, July 21, 2024

Students suit up for success with JCP

Morgan Pellerin and JCPenney are making it easier for Plattsburgh State students to look the part at their Suit Up event in the Champlain Centre this Sunday.


At the event, PSUC students will receive 40 percent off all professional attire, hopefully to be worn in upcoming interviews.


Pellerin, career counselor and applied learning specialist, heard about SUNY Oswego throwing a Suit Up event at a local JCPenney and wanted to give PSUC students the same opportunity.


“I know that professional attire is expensive,” Pellerin said. “Looking at students of the past or my own experience, it isn’t easy to get these clothes.”


Pellerin purchased his first professional suit before he graduated college and was surprised with the price, which he had forgotten to factor into his expenses.


Sweta Bhatta, sophomore accounting and managing information systems major, said she needs more professional attire for events on campus as well as interviews.


“I would feel more confident with a few more pieces,” Bhatta said.


Jake Pham, senior computer science major, values the power he gets when he dresses up for formal occasions. He has two sets of professional attire.


One is formal, and the other is exceedingly formal as he described it.


“First impressions count,” Pham said. “You don’t want to show up to an interview looking like a homeless person.”


When he wears one of his sets, he feels as if it makes him stand apart from other people in the same position.


JCPenney hosts Suit Up events at colleges across the country to make professional clothing accessible to students entering their careers.


Pellerin has been working with the local store since May to make this event possible for PSUC students.


“It’s a win-win for them,” Pellerin said. “They get a lot of people in the store, but they are also helping some people out too.”


The Career Development Center is providing transportation for students to get to the event as well.


The CDC has reserved a van to bus students from in front of the Angell College Center to JCPenney and back.


“The cost to reserve the vans is pretty negligible,” Pellerin said. “We’re not paying JCPenney anything to do this. Their hope is that we bring a good number of students to make it worth their while.”


JCPenney is hoping to see 100 students at the store. Pellerin is aiming higher, anticipating 250 students take advantage of the opportunity.


Students who come will have to show their student ID to the customer service desk in order to receive the 40 percent coupon.


Once in hand, students are able to browse all of the professional attire, plus the extra stock the store is providing.


While students are in JCPenney, PSUC faculty volunteers and store workers will be assisting and encouraging students in finding what they need.


The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. For the last two hours, the store will be open exclusively for students, as the mall closes at 6 p.m. on Sundays.


While Sephora is not included in the sale, Pellerin said the staff will be offering advice and help to those with makeup questions as well.


As a career counsellor, Pellerin knows the importance of first impressions in a job interview, but clothing alone does not get the job.


“You can look really good, but if you can’t answer questions, then that’s a problem,” Pellerin said. “It’s that balance that you’ve researched the position well. You want to articulate why you’re good for the position, but also part of that is you looking the part.”


Email Jacob Elsbree at

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