JCPenney partners with OU to offer discounts, giveaways

Laurel Kraus, Managing Editor

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With both the Spring Career Fair on April 2 and graduation season approaching, the need for professional clothing may be on many to-do lists.

The JCPenney Suit Up Event will take place after hours at Oakland Mall on Sunday, March 24 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at which Oakland University, Lawrence Tech University, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College and Rochester College students can receive 40 percent off career clothing and accompanying accessories such as shoes.

“Not everybody can afford to just walk into a store and purchase a suit at a non-discounted price, so I really think this just gives our students a fantastic opportunity to have some nice merchandise at a discounted price,” said Kelly Dorner, director of Career Services at OU.

While JCPenney will supply a larger stock of career clothing on site than normal for the event, the 40 percent can be combined with any already-existing discounts as well.

“They have some pretty good sales to begin with, so very likely some of their career clothes will already be discounted in one way, shape or form,” Dorner said.

Additionally, JCPenney will be offering free hair consultations in the hair salon and have staff available to do measurements for suit fittings, while Sephora will be doing free mini-makeovers and giveaways, although their merchandise is not included as part of the 40 percent off. The portrait studio will also be offering discounted headshots for students to update their LinkedIn profiles.

“We are constantly looking at new ways to make the events more beneficial, fun and appealing to students,” said Ken Bohn, director of Store Events at JCPenney. “In fact, we have several event additions planned for fall of 2019 that we believe will be fantastic updates to the program.”

This is the first time OU will be partnering with JCPenney for this event, but it has been successful for over 200 other colleges and universities nationally just this year according to Bohn.

OU discovered the event through collaboration with career services at Eastern Michigan University.

“One of the things that I think our career services office does quite well is we really keep a finger on the pulse of what other institutions are doing for their students that seem to work,” Darner said.

She also stated the JCPenney Suit Up Event will benefit all OU students no matter their age or class standing.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about internships, so I absolutely would suggest any freshman out there to have the appropriate clothing so they can feel prepared to attend things on campus… or potentially interview in the future,” she said. “That future could be as soon as this summer.”

Grizz buses will be available to take students to and from Oakland Mall during the event and will be picking up at Hamlin Circle.

“You just never know when you’re going to need career clothes,” Dorner said. “That next interview or internship or some type of professional opportunity could be right around the corner… It’s important to be able to present that appropriate professional image.”