MURRAY — It was hard to be a Murray State University student last Sunday and not know that an event was happening at a Murray-area store geared for one of the biggest steps students take during their time at the campus.
Commencement? Well, that is big. However, before that even happens, many students, especially graduating seniors, have already put themselves in position for jobs or internships. And to do that, it takes some style, as in business attire.
That was the idea behind an event that nationally-known retail chain JCPenney has been offering for several years, the College Suit Up. Sunday marked the first time for the Murray Penney store to welcome students perhaps intimidated by this process.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said Murray senior Mitchell Smith, remarkng how this was anything but a secret among his fellow students. “I probably had 14 people telling me it was coming and to get ready for it and I’m glad I’m here. I mean, for me, this is the exit and I realized that it had been a minute since I had updated what’s in my closet.”
Rebecca Dyer, a Murray State career counselor, was one of numerous Murray State officials welcoming students for the private event. She was interviewed about half an hour into the five-hour window Penney had allotted and said she was very encouraged with the amount of traffic the Penney store was receiving in that short time.
“You know what? This just fits well with what we’re doing,” Dyer said of how the Penney activity presented offers for business wear at discounted prices. “We’ve got a career fair coming up (one of two the campus hosts each year) and this makes it easier for them to go into interviews they’ll have that day.”
“I’m glad we’re doing this,” said Stacie Gunn, manager of the Murray Penney store. “This is something that has been done at stores we have in other parts of the country and those had gone very well, so we decided to give this a try and I think it’s going very well.
“It’s really an awesome partnership for us to have with the school.”
Emily Netherington, a junior student from Louisville, is one of those with an opportunity ahead of her. She said her main goal Sunday was to freshen her wardrobe for observing teachers at Murray Middle School.
She was not bashful about how much clothing she had to examine to get the right look.
“Well, I’ve got six weeks coming up, so I’ve got to have enough. I’ve been looking in some books to see what I might like to try,” Netherington said.
Murray State said earlier this week that about 500 students participated in the Suit Up.