J. C. Penney offers exclusive sale for Chico State faculty and students


Brian Luong

Johan Lozano poses in a full suit and tie. Dressing professionally helps to create a great first impression on potential employers. Clothing is not from JCPenney.

You don’t have to be Barney Stinson to suit-up this October.

The Career Center has partnered with JCPenney to bring the Chico State community a private Suit-Up Event. The event will take place on Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. It gives Wildcats and their families the opportunity to purchase professional clothing at a 40 percent discount on items, such as dress apparel, suits and shoes.

Those interested in attending must bring their Wildcat ID card as the store will be closed to the public. Prizes will be given out throughout the entire event along with music and food trucks.

Jeffrey Harrington, a career advisor for the Career Center, began planning the event after JCPenney reached out to him in March.

“Something like this (Suit-Up Event) I’m super passionate about because it’s a great way to get students connected to the professional world who might not normally have had a chance,” Harrington said.

Jeff Harrington poses in front of the Career Center sign. The Career Center is a resource on campus for students to get help with interviewing skills, resume development or career advice. Photo credit: Brian Luong

Students inexperienced on professional clothing are encouraged to attend as JCPenney will provide a full-staff to work measuring stations and give advice on the appropriate attire to choose.

Furthermore, the entire Career Center staff along with student volunteers will help guide individuals with color combinations and piecing together outfits. Sephora will also be giving out free makeovers and salon consultations.

The JCPenny is located within the Chico Mall at 1932 E 20th St.

Shirts, jackets, ties and pants will be available at the JCPenny Suit-Up Event. Clothing is not from JCPenney. Photo credit: Brian Luong

The Professional Attire Fund is another resource for financially struggling students. This fund is open to full-time business major students who fill out an application at the beginning of each semester. The application requires information regarding financial need and asks questions such as why the student should be funded, how the student would use the funds if approved and career aspirations.

Approved applicants will be determined by a committee of three members within the College of Business based on the applicant’s financial need, the quality of their application materials and the amount of funding available.

Billy Harkness, the program coordinator for Business Student Advising and Services and member of the committee, stressed the importance of dressing professionally for interviews.

“The job market is very competitive. First impressions are huge,” Harkness said.

Harkness explained employers often make the final decision on who they employ based on the professionalism of the individual, which includes their attire.

Harkness also noted that dressing professionally helps the interviewee build confidence.

“If you feel good in what you’re wearing, it’s going to come out in your interview,” he said.

For students or graduates going into their first professional interview, Harrington outlined four tips that will grab an employers’ attention.

1. Create a professional resume

Resumes should be checked for precise writing, chronological work experience and include references for employers to contact. Providing a clean and concise resume will ensure a smoother interview.

2. Do company research

Dong prior research on the types of jobs the company offers, what the company does and their history will aid the applicant in understanding what to expect and what types of questions the interviewer will ask.

3. Utilize campus resources

Along with providing assistance on interviews and resumes, the Career Center also gives advice on clothing, professionalism, responding to job offers and negotiating pay. The Career Center is located in Student Services Center 270.

4. Fill out a Handshake Account

Filling out a Handshake account will make it easier for recruiters in the correct job field to discover prospective applicants. Employers on Handshake are vetted by the Career Center so students only see the best available job opportunities whether it’s locally or nationally.

Brian Luong can be reached at [email protected] or @brianluongorion on Twitter.