One of the most stressful moments for college students is interviewing with prospective employers. The question and answer session may only last a few minutes, but there’s much more that goes into preparing for that big moment. That’s why Florida Polytechnic University is offering its students a comprehensive program to provide the expert advice they need in topics ranging from resume writing to understanding the power of body language. It’s all part of the Career Opportunities Developing Evolutionary Success program,or CODES.
“Students need to have that competitive edge and know how to conduct themselves in a way that attracts an employer,” said Pairris Jones, Florida Poly’s associate director of career services. “We want to educate them with as much information as possible so that they can take advantage of the great opportunities out there.”
One unique part of CODES is the TECH_STYLED: Dress to Lead initiative. Its focus is teaching students to think about their look when networking and preparing for the all-important interview. Through a month-long campaign, Florida Poly faculty and staff donated hundreds of pieces of gently used clothing and accessories that were given to students at no cost.
TECH_STYLED also featured a one-day-only discount at the Lakeland Men’s Wearhouse and JCPenney stores for students to purchase professional attire. Each store offered Florida Poly students a 40 percent discount on Saturday, Feb. 2.
“We’re helping them when it comes to this next step in their lives,” said Gina Lawson, zone operations manager for Men’s Wearhouse. “Looking good is a big deal.”
Lawson and Bryan Taylor, the store manager for the Lakeland Men’s Warehouse, gave a seminar for male students on how to not only prepare for an interview, but also how to dress for one. They both emphasized the importance of how the right look can foster confidence.
“We can tell when a guy who doesn’t typically wear that clothing walks out of a dressing room, he comes out in front of the mirror and his whole expression changes. That changes everything for them,” said Lawson.
Jones provided a similar seminar for female students and said TECH_STYLED was tailored for the types of individuals and companies students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields will eventually engage with.
“The organizational cultures they’re going into are always evolving so we definitely take all of that into consideration, and we give them great tips to prepare them for that initial connection, that initial networking experience, or that initial interview,” said Jones.
The various CODES events began Jan. 8 and conclude Feb. 11 in advance of the Career and Internship Fair on Feb. 19
Assistant Director of Communications