Toppel Career Center (TCC) and Macy’s held the first “Dress For Success” fashion show, complete with music by WVUM, free ice cream and a business suit giveaway, Wednesday at noon on the Lakeside Stage. The event celebrated TCC’s 20th anniversary and publicized the Career Expo on Sept. 18.
Joy Taylor from 790 AM’s “The Ticket,” hosted the show as six models walked across the stage in professional attire, courtesy of Dadeland Mall’s Macy’s.
Betty Zambrano, assistant director of career events at Toppel, said working with the Macy’s events team was an ideal partnership because of their interest in attracting University of Miami students to the stores, specifically at the Dadeland location.
Macy’s offers affordable fashion, such as the ones worn in the show, as well as other complementary services for students to take advantage of.
“They have a free styling service they offer for professional looks, so it just seemed like the perfect partnership,” Zambrano said.
According to Zambrano, Toppel directors brainstormed ideas for promoting the Career Expo and Graduate School Fair, and she thought of arranging a giveaway. Toppel kept boxes in its office for students to enter the suit giveaway and about 200 entries accumulated before the “Dress For Success” event.
Ikem, who is an international business major, emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the resources the university offers before entering the job market.
He graduated from the University of Central Florida and faced difficulty finding a job once he graduated, which brought him back to graduate school. Now, however, he said he knows better.
“With the job market how it is in this day and age, you really want to make sure that you’re doing what you have to do so you have a job,” Ikem said.
Learning how to dress professionally is of utmost importance, according to Toppel’s Director of Career Education Edward Cruz, because it plays a critical role in shaping a first impression.
“You can make a first impression, but it can be positive or negative,” Cruz said. “We provide these guidelines so that when a student comes through, when they walk away from that employer that they’re talking to, they’re being remembered for the right reasons.”
The fashion show was designed to give job seekers outfit ideas depending on their prospective careers. Similarly, Toppel offers resume critiques, workshops and events, advising and other resources to empower students to network and pursue their ideal job or internship.
Together with Student Government, Toppel recently launched Sebastian’s Closet to offer rentals of professional clothing to degree-seeking students for use in career-related events such as job fairs and interviews.
Cruz said many students think career events are only for juniors and seniors, but he challenged students to plan career goals and start working toward them as soon as possible.
“Outside of our fun T-shirts, outside of our fun events … we want students to engage with us so that they can start thinking earlier on about what their career is going to look like,” Cruz said.
For more information or to register for the Career Expo, visit hireacane.com.