Thursday, September 8, 2011

First impressions

We all know that putting too much stock in a first impression is a mistake. Abe Lincoln is reported to have said “I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.”

I wonder what caused him to say “I don’t like that man?” Was it his dress, his hair? Too often good (and bad) first impressions are made by the way we present ourselves, by the clothes we choose to wear.

I get a kick out of watching fashion statements in the Commons at lunch: mostly jeans, sweatpants, tees, sweatshirts and flip flops year-round. It’s completely appropriate attire for a college student on campus, but not so much when venturing off campus for internships, clinical practice and field experiences.

Professional clothing drive

Support staff on campus, known as The Backbone, is organizing a professional clothing drive to help Bluffton students make a good first impression. Clothing will be collected Sept. 15-20 and then distributed at no charge to students who are in an internship, clinical practice or educational field experience.

What a great incentive to clean out closets! No longer worn office attire may be donated at Marbeck Information Desk, or during normal office hours to the Student Life Office in Riley Court. Faculty and staff were told that “It would be very helpful if clothing was clean and somewhat pressed.” Any clothing not chosen by the students will be donated to Et Cetera Shop.

It’s too bad all people are not like good ol’ Abe, willing to look past an unfavorable first impression. But the truth is: “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Let’s do what we can to give Bluffton students what they need to make their first professional impression count.

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