On September 10, the University of Georgia Career Center hosted the first Dawgs Suit Up event at JCPenney in Athens. More than 1,300 students attended the event, which provided students with professional attire at discounted prices. Students could purchase a full ensemble – a suit, shirt, belt and shoes – for less than $200.
Scott Williams, executive director of the UGA Career Center, identified the need for this type of event at UGA and he, along with his staff, created Dawgs Suit Up. “Prior to the event, there was nothing in place to assist students with professional dress needed for Career Fairs, networking events, interviews, and the working world,” said Williams. “Through the Suit Up initiative, we wanted to make sure that students are not at a competitive disadvantage in the job search simply because they can’t afford professional business attire.”
Additionally, the Career Center created a scholarship program for students who could not afford to participate. The Dawgs Suit Up Scholarship allowed a student to attend, shop and receive professional clothing completely free of charge. UGA alumni and friends generously donated more than $62,000 to the fund and as a result, 310 scholarships were awarded to students.
“I was extremely grateful for being selected for the Career Center’s Dawgs Suit Up Scholarship. The scholarship was truly a blessing for me, and I really enjoyed the event,” said Alicia Worthy, UGA sophomore and scholarship recipient.
Williams was thrilled with both the student turnout and the response from donors. “We were impressed with the number of students who attended, given this was the first year we’ve done the event,” Williams said. “We are also incredibly grateful to those who felt compelled to give towards the Dawgs Suit Up Scholarship.”
JCPenney has implemented the Suit Up event at several large universities. UGA’s Dawgs Suit Up was the most successful event to date, doubling the previous largest attendance at the University of Oklahoma.