PSA: Donate To The UH-West O’ahu Career Closet

A student studies hard, scores good grades, gets a recommendation from a professor, and lands a big internship.

Then—not knowing any better—they show up for work in jeans and a t-shirt. First impression ruined.

This is why a group of faculty, staff, and students at UHWO started the school’s Career Closet.

Students who need work-appropriate clothes for last-minute job interviews, meetings with potential mentors, or to wear regularly at an internship, can borrow two outfits per semester.

It’s not so much the cost of clothes that trips students up. It’s that some simply don’t know what to wear to an office. They may not even realize they’re expected to dress up.

(Personal aside: At my first and only college internship, my clothes were so shoddy that the owner of the company offered me a $50 bill to buy new ones. Top 5 most embarrassing moment of my life.)

How You Can Help

Michiko Joseph, Interim Library Director and Access Services Librarian, is helping to run the career closet. She led me to a storage area in the Campbell Library that holds three standup racks of clothes, donated by the UWHO community.

It’s obvious what the biggest need is: Men’s Clothes.

uh west oahu career closet

That rack in the front contains the only men’s clothes, the rest are women’s. Guys, you know you have a tasteful aloha shirt that’s a size too big or small.

Other needed items:

  • Men’s slacks
  • Women’s slacks, skirts, or business-appropriate dresses
  • Women’s blouses (sleeveless ok, with a jacket)

NOT NEEDED: Accessories, like shoes, belts and jewelry. They don’t yet have the space to store these.

Because students keep the clothes, rather than borrowing them, the Career Closet needs constant replenishment. So, instead of donating your clothes to a place that will resell them—who knows where—maybe offer them to an ambitious local kid looking for their big break?

The UHWO library, career center, and fitness center all accept donations. Someday soon, you could find yourself interviewing someone wearing a very familiar shirt. (Or maybe, in a few years, they’ll be interviewing you!)