Project to provide professional attire for underprivileged women

Without a job, how can one afford a suit? Without a suit, how can one interview for a job?The TCU chapter of the National Association of Women MBAs is helping to solve this problem by hosting a suit drive to benefit Dress for Success Dallas.

NAWMBA is a nonprofit organization for graduate students in business that focuses on mentoring and community service projects, said Julie Baker, faculty adviser of the TCU chapter of NAWMBA. This year’s project is Dress for Success.

From Feb. 26 to March 2, students can donate new and gently used business suits in the atrium of Smith Hall to help underprivileged women acquire interview-appropriate clothing to assist them in joining the work force.

Dress for Success is an international, nonprofit organization that provides professional attire, employment retention programs and career guidance for low-income women seeking employment, according to its Web site.

“It’s a good thing to be able to give back,” said Beth Masser, a first-year Neeley MBA student and member of the NAWMBA community service committee. “We’re all aspiring to be professional women; we should help those less fortunate and give them the means to do the same.”

Dress for Success clients come from nonprofit and government agencies, such as homeless shelters, immigration services, domestic violence shelters and many more organizations. Clients are given one dress suit for an interview, and, if they get a job, they can come back for a second suit or other office attire.

Vineeta Menezes, a second-year Neeley MBA student and director of the NAWMBA community service committee, said she encourages students to be a part of a good cause.

“Something as small as having the right suit can be a determining factor in the interview process,” Menezes said.

This is the first year for Dress for Success to be a NAWMBA community service project.

“It’s a wonderful program,” Baker said. “I would really like to see it go on each year.