MSD students launch Career Closet to help peers dress for success

Arizel Corniel and Carly Rogalla have created a new initiative at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This helps make students look a part of their success, even when they don’t have a lot of resources at hand.

As such, the two MSD juniors are both co-founders and best friends. His teen in Coral Springs is a natural soulmate for the company, as they’ve been hip-jointed for years.

“We’ve been friends since sixth grade,” Corniel said. “We were very similar, so we formed a friendship. We became best friends very quickly. We had a lot of similar classes at school. We did everything together.” We played soccer together in middle school and high school, and we were always two peas in a pod.”

What brought them to MSD was their shared interest in DECA, a school-based program that seeks emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in high schools and colleges around the world for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.

“The DECA program at MSD started almost 20 years ago,” says Corniel. “Since its inception, every quarter he has held a Professional Dress Day where all his DECA students dress up in business attire. Learn what is appropriate, how to tie a tie, and more.”

Corniel and Rogara were heavily involved with DECA and were given the opportunity to lead the Chapter project.

“We were looking for ideas. We wanted to give something back,” says Rogalla. “The type of initiative that we run is a community donation project. One thing actually came to me at the DECA board meeting when we were brainstorming some ideas.”

The Career Closet team volunteered at the Women in Distress event in early December.

A friend or colleague has noticed that your school does not have a Professional Business Dress Day. Those are the days DECA students must wear professional business attire to school and are then evaluated for it.

“Professional dress days are where students learn things like the need to tuck their shirts and lengthen their skirts past the knee,” Rogara said. It is intended to help you learn how to make a big impression when conducting a job interview.The reason our advisors told us they no longer have the opportunity for business dress is because many students can afford clothes. Because I said there’s no such thing as these special days.

Tet learned that even in wealthy communities like theirs, there are students who cannot afford perks like special clothing for occasions like this.

“We were really shocked at the thought that there would be no more special days like this,” Corniel said. “We did our research and found that the median household income in Parkland is about $200,000. I realized how difficult it must be in a low-income neighborhood if some people are struggling. That’s what inspired the idea of ​​Career Closet.”

They say they want to help other students because they understand how important presentations are in getting a job or advancing their careers.

“We know that dressing appropriately is very important because we know how important your first impression in an interview is based on how you present yourself. “I learned it in class,” Corniel said. “Without it, young people are at a disadvantage. That’s why a friend and I started the initiative.

She says she’s learned that statistically, you can often decide to reject or accept an applicant in the first 10 seconds of a job interview.

“We’ve learned everything from wearing blue to being more likely to be accepted,” Corniel said. “We know that dressing professionally is important for everyone. I’ve also learned that not showing up to an interview wearing a tie can reduce your chances of getting a job, and I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity.”

Corniel and Rogalla launched Career Closet in October. Their main goal is to regularly collect business wear for students, including blazers, skirts, blouses, jewelry, eau de cologne and anything else related to interviews. Our friends are working with businesses, communities and other schools to make this happen. When we collect clothes, we host small events with the help of volunteers and donate clothes to other organizations.

“There are many different ways to collect clothes,” Corniel said. “One way is to reach out to local businesses and ask them to help us. Another way, if people want to donate directly to us, is to donate to MSD, and we’ve also posted signs throughout the community.”

The Career Closet team organized and counted all donations in November.

Rogalla said she tries to focus on finding a comfortable place to undress.

“We did a collection at the Parkland Library, and we also did a collection at a popular local business in Coral Springs,” she said. “MSD has also done collections. I also know people on an individual level who have donated clothing.”

As business-minded students, Corniel and Rogara said they know how important it is to market their message to get others on board with their mission.

“We advertise to groups asking for business professional and business casual clothing,” says Rogalla. “We designate a day at school to sort out all the professional trousers, all the professional shirts, etc. We also sort out those that do not meet these requirements and put them in another pile. And , bringing many of those items to a variety of organizations that aren’t specifically looking for professional clothing.”

The Career Closet team volunteered at the Women in Distress event in early December.

As far as giving information to local businesses, Corniel said, they almost always walk in person to talk or call and connect using social media. He says he was lucky to be able to connect with the Chamber of Commerce.

“In terms of promoting our clothing collection, Alizell and I were given the opportunity to speak and network at the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce,” Rogara said. “We spoke in front of the Women’s Alliance there. We also hosted her networking event at our school with the Parkland Chamber of Commerce where we spoke and offered them and the community a career in her closet.” talked about.”

To make things more efficient, the duo could also send mass emails to MSD staff asking for donations. I am working on trying

“We also make phone calls to corporate centers on weekends to ask if they would like to participate,” says Rogalla. “We go door to door with companies, email and call to see if they want to participate.”

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Corniel said he has received positive feedback from students, teachers and business professionals.

“At networking events, businesswomen enthusiastically gave me their business cards,” she said. “I haven’t heard anything negative about it. Even when companies decline to participate, they always tell me they think it’s a great project.”

The initiative is only a few months old, but they have plans to help career closets survive the scrutiny of their own efforts.

Career Closet co-founders are Carly Rogalla (left) and Arizel Corniel.

“Next year, we definitely want to make this an established club at MSD, so the school can continue this activity and give back after graduation,” said Rogalla. rice field.

Career Closet also works with non-profit organizations outside of schools, such as Women in Distress, Broward Outreach Center, and Dress for Success.

To donate to Career Closet, bring professional clothing to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, 5901 Pine Island Road, Parkland.

follow @MSD Career Closet on Instagram.

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