Merrimack Senior Continues Work with her Not for Profit
We all know that first impressions count, particularly in job interviews. Dressing the part is a crucial step in landing the job. But what if there was something standing in your way?
For many women coming from low-income backgrounds or women who are stepping into the job market for the first time, finding the appropriate clothing for an interview can be challenging. Sabrina Boggio, a senior in the Honors Program and a resident of Lawrence, began Women’s Path to Employment (WPTE) during the latter half of her freshman year at Merrimack while enrolled in the Business Management program. WPTE is a mobile service that provides professional clothing to women in need in order to prepare them for job interviews. WPTE primarily serves two demographics of women: Those that are entering the job market for the first time, and those who may have started families at a young age or who been out of work and are looking to re-enter the job market. WPTE volunteers travel to their clients and set-up shop on-site. At the appointment, WPTE staff act as personal stylists for the clients. The goal of these appointments is to find each client one outfit that will not only fit her body, but also fit the type of interview appropriately.
WPTE clients usually fall into two categories when it comes to the challenges they face in dressing for an interview. The first is that the interviewee knows they need to dress up for the interview, but what they consider their “best outfit” may not be modest enough or otherwise appropriate for the interview. The second case, which is seen more often, has to do with economics. The average cost of a women’s business suit can be upwards of $200 or more. This cost is beyond what is reasonable for an unemployed person to incur, especially if they are just beginning their career and/or are trying to support other individuals aside from themselves. WPTE helps many women around this financial burden.
Furthermore, clothing has more than just an external purpose; it can affect the interviewee internally as well. If a candidate does not feel that she has the right kind of clothes, or if the clothes are too tight, or too loose – this can distract the candidate from the interview because they become self-conscious about what they are wearing. WPTE reduces this stress and distraction for its clients and provides them with a great boost of confidence. Sabrina says, “To be able to dress the clients is a wonderful feeling. It is great to know that they have one less thing to worry about during an interview.”
WPTE hopes to expand in the future and has plans to move into a new space, introduce more career and life-skills workshops, and offer services to men as well. “It’s a domino effect really,” Sabrina says, “If we can help clients, who are single parents for example, the economic benefits may trickle down to the rest of the family; and a family that is more financially stable is one that is more apt to contribute to the local economy.” Just imagine how this domino effect could spread throughout the Lawrence community!
Sabrina would like to thank Merrimack Valley Sandbox, the Catalyst Program, and the Accelerator Program for their continued support of Women’s Path to Employment.To find out more about Women’s Path to Employment and to keep up with its updates, visit WPTELawrence.com or send questions via email to Sabrina@WPTELawrence.com!
Patrick Hovsepian ’14 is starting his first semester as an Honors Computer Science Senior, and already has a job offer for after graduation.
Hannah Farrell ‘14 is an aspiring kindergarten teacher who is currently majoring in Human Development with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and a Religious and Theological Studies minor at Merrimack College. She is a member of the Merrimack College Honors Program, 2014 Class Council, Theta Phi Alpha sorority, as well as the Order of Omega, the Greek life honor society.