The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

    TR fashion show offers style, professional advice

    TR+Campus+student+Nathaniel+Peoples+shows+what%E2%80%99s+appropriate+to+wear+in+a+professional+business+situation.+Photos+by+Carrie+Duke%2FThe+Collegian
    TR Campus student Nathaniel Peoples shows what’s appropriate to wear in a professional business situation. Photos by Carrie Duke/The Collegian
    TR Campus student Nathaniel Peoples shows what’s appropriate to wear in a professional business situation. Photos by Carrie Duke/The Collegian
    TR Campus student Nathaniel Peoples shows what’s appropriate to wear in a professional business situation. Photos by Carrie Duke/The Collegian

    By Kirsten Mahon/tr news editor

    TR Campus held a fashion show Feb. 13 to better equip students with the knowledge and know-how to own first impressions for interviews and business meetings.

    NW business instructor Tim Park, who helped host the event, began the show by wearing an untucked shirt and slacks. Simple as it was, the state of his attire and body language shouted indifference and lazy edge.

    “The important thing to know is that first impression matters,” he said. 

    Aides came to the rescue with a coat and tie to make his look more polished and professional.

    “How you act, how you shake hands and, of course, your experience and your abilities make you the person that someone wants to hire,” he said.

    The show included a skit with four potential employees checking in for job interviews. The first three interviewees were perfect examples of what not to do. The final was a well-dressed, confident, friendly and open future employee.

    Ruby Rios wears business professional during the TR Campus Fashion Show.
    Ruby Rios wears business professional during the TR Campus Fashion Show.

    “Hey!” shouted Ariana Rodriguez, TR student development specialist, in character. “I’m here for an interview.”

    She is an hour late.

    “I had to get my nails done because I wanted to impress him,” she flashes a pair of freshly polished, impeccable nails in the receptionist’s face. Wearing a long, orange pencil skirt, a “Hater’s gonna hate” T-shirt with sneakers, and pulling at her pencil skirt, she adds, “It’s business casual right? I’m wearing a skirt!”

    She smiles, smacking chewing gum.

    The receptionist is not pleased.

    Park said it’s best to start impressing the front-line workers at the desk of a potential job. The receptionist will be the one to hand off résumés and cover letters and discuss first impressions with employers.

    The final model to introduce himself to the receptionist walks in with a smile, proudly shakes the receptionist’s hand and asks for her name. He hands her a crisp résumé and cover letter.

    “Will you make sure he gets this?” he asks, politely.

    He is on time, dressed appropriately and confident. The receptionist gladly takes his papers and tells him to have a seat.

    The fashion show represented three different workplace styles: business, business casual and street casual. The styles went beyond the obvious black, white and navy blue. Models wore bright colors, some with lace, tassels and even jeans.

    After the show, faculty members handed fliers to the students.

    “I believe that your college classes are preparing you for that job you’re planning to have in your future,” said SE psychology instructor Cheryl Taylor-West. “Sometimes your behavior in class is a reflection of whether or not faculty members will give you a recommendation.”

    Taylor-West said being late to class and classroom behavior are a reflection of job behavior. Prospective employees should be confident and aware of what their three biggest strengths are as well. Employers want to know how fast their employees can learn and how persuasive they are.

    Park said employers look for three things: how much money future employees can save the company, how much money they will make for the company and how much time it will take because time is money.

    Career and employment services offices at TCC offer students mock interviews and free résumé critiques for students to use as practice. Career services associates will give students constructive feedback about what they do well and what they should work on.

    The fashion show event was created to raise awareness among students of what seems appropriate but is not.

    “It’s what people see on TV,” Rodriguez said. “They see videos and reality TV, and they have a different perception.”

    Rodriguez said that low-cut blouses and six-inch heels are normally portrayed on TV as what’s acceptable. It’s part of her job at career and employment services to let students know that isn’t true, she said.

    Students are afraid to ask questions, Rodriguez said. By having an open event for anyone in the seating area in the cafeteria, her department could promote services that students can use for free.

    The TR career center will host a job fair March 19. Kristin Vinson, TR career and employment services coordinator, said in the past students have come to job fairs unprepared.

    Though the fair is set up casually on school campuses, meetings with company representatives are still professional, and students should be prepared to dress accordingly, Vinson said.

    “The goal is to make students marketable,” Rodriguez said. “Every student has their own brand. We want them to be the best that they can be.”

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