“I wanted to inform college students how first impressions are key,” said Natalie Conciella, a sophomore member of Bridge Society, which hosted the event. “I wanted to show them that dressing accordingly for an interview is possible on a college budget.”
The planning of this fashion show began early this semester and involved researching the perfect business interview outfit, seeking out local vendors for donations for both clothes and raffles, as well as putting together descriptions for the models’ outfits.
The Bridge Society is a professional society within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that is geared towards providing students with the tools necessary to help shape their professional lives.
“This was a fun event for students to see that professional development isn’t just bland booklets on how to write a résumé, or trawling through endless job boards,” said Erin Malone, Bridge Society president. “It is an interactive and enlightening process of self discovery and excitement, and the more involved you become, the more enjoyment and success you will get in return.”
The society also works closely with local alumni and faculty to help students head themselves in the right direction professionally, develop their own likes and dislikes, and attend professional events to help get their foot in the door.
The society’s mission is “to build relationships among students and alumni institutional development and alumni institutional development, as well as provide a forum for students to gain the experiences necessary to forge their future direction.”
The event featured gift card donations from various local businesses. These included Gullifty’s, Kelly’s, Skirt, Peace-a-Pizza, Winger’s, Maloney’s, Campus Corner and Nova Grill. Skirt also donated a necklace to be raffled off.
The clothing for the event was donated by Louella Boutique in Wayne for the participating female models. As for the males, they opted for clothes from their own closets. With a total of nine models from Greek Life, there were four female models from Alpha Chi Omega and five male models from Sigma Phi Epsilon.
The first show was very well received and had a substantial attendance.
“There was a great showing for the first professional dress fashion show,” Malone said. “This is definitely something that we will look to continue it the future, allowing it to grow each year.”
Proceeds from the event went to a charity, as well. Proceeds from the $5 entrance fee and raffle ticket funds went to the Billy Zimmerman Scholarship Fund at Seton Hall Preparatory School.
This, of course, is a scholarship fund in honor of the late Billy Zimmerman, University sophomore and brother of Phi Sigma Kappa who died over Spring Break last month.
“After the tragic incident of Billy Zimmermann, which so suddenly struck our community, I decided to donate the money to Billy’s scholarship fund,” Conciella said. “Like so many of my sisters, I was a friend of Billy’s, and with the support of my chapter members, Greek Life and other friends of Billy, as well as a donation from my family, I believed we could make a sum of money that would be put towards this good cause.”
As for the rest of the semester, the Bridge Society’s professional events have finished and will return in the fall. But the Bridge Society does have a few innovative activities still up their sleeves.
“We are basically done for the semester in terms of big events such as our networking and mentoring events, but we are currently looking to have an end-of-semester art exhibition where pieces will be donated for the exhibition, and then donated to Deserving Decor, a charity that outfits transitional housing,” Malone said.