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Comet Closet Program Helps You Land Your Dream Job

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Seven seconds. That’s all it takes for you to make a great first impression on your interviewer. This small window of time will influence how the interview will go and ultimately the chances of you getting a job offer by the end of it. Before the interview, you have the opportunity to make this first impression great by practicing interview questions and updating your knowledge on the company, but the most important factor is to have the appropriate professional attire and look presentable. For most college students, attaining an interview outfit is the most challenging aspect of landing that dream job. Comet Closet aims to tackle and alleviate this issue facing the students of UT Dallas, one suit at a time.

The Comet Closet Mission

Comet Closet, a student-led program, was founded in 2014 in hopes of addressing some necessities that students might lack while going through the interview process — education, professional attire and development tools. The students of UT Dallas are bright and are very much qualified to succeed in their interviews, but the lack of professional attire hindered their chances of getting that job offer.

When I first joined the executive board of Comet Closet, I had no idea how much The University of Texas at Dallas needed this initiative, and I was ecstatic to be a part of a legacy. While I was serving as the director of outreach — with three other executive board members, an amazing advisor and community support and dedication —Comet Closet was able to acquire more than 1,000 professional clothing items and establish partnerships with other student organizations.

The 2016-2017 Comet Closet Executive Board: Whitney Hinze (Advisor), Ola Saleh (Director of Outreach), Pratisha Saharia (Director of Analytics), Jiana Khazma (Director of Marketing) and Colin Holmes (Director of Partnerships)

Using The Comet Closet Requirements

Although Comet Closet is housed in JSOM, it is a service offered to all UT Dallas students. To use this service, students must first visit our advisor, Whitney Hinze, in JSOM 11.105F to receive a Comet Closet card to complete the requirements. Comet Closet requires that all clients attend three UT Dallas Career Center or Naveen Jindal School of Management Career Management Center (CMC) workshops/events and get signatures of the facilitators on the Comet Closet card. This requirement allows students using Comet Closet to gain the development tools that will ensure success in their interview process. These include résumé critiques, LinkedIn branding, interview strategies and many more professional development opportunities. This pairing opens the door to using a great resource available to the student body at UT Dallas and to ensuring that the students that we will serve are serious about their overall success.

After completing the three events, students can turn in their Comet Closet card to JSOM 11.105F and set up an appointment to use the service. During an appointment, we provide the student with a full outfit to the best of our abilities, which is based on the inventory at hand. This outfit will include a blazer, pants/skirt, button-down/blouse, shoes, tie and an accessory (such as a purse, scarf, necklace).

My Experience With Serving the Students

Now that we have been operating on a small scale, I’ve been able to see firsthand how this program changes the lives of students. The first few minutes during the appointment include an elevator ride up to the closet, in which the students give a brief background of themselves and explain their current professional attire situation. These few minutes authenticate the need for the Comet Closet initiative and serve as a reminder that there are many students who we have not yet been able to help. As the Comet Closet door flies open, students see an abundance of professional clothes that could change the trajectory of their career path. Many of them exclaim, “I can choose anything?” They are in awe that a program was designed to help them at their time of need — that the sole purpose of Comet Closet is to help them develop skills and gain professional attire so that they can ultimately get their dream job. 

The Comet Closet is where we house 1,000+ professional clothing items and execute the appointments for the students using our program service.

Some students refuse to take a button-down because they have one that “will work” and so that another student can have the opportunity to get it. These students express selflessness at a time where many others would express greed.

The pinnacle of the appointment is when the student turns to me in appreciation and happiness and utters the words, “Thank you for everything.” Moments from the beginning to the end of many appointments fuel my burning desire to continue serving the UT Dallas community through Comet Closet. This program is a game changer and one that will continue to grow through serving more UT Dallas students in need. 

Keep up with our growth by visiting our website at and following us on Facebook and Instagram. Interested in being a client, donor, or partner? Feel free email us at

Ola Saleh

Ola is a senior double majoring in molecular biology and business administration. She aspires to become a physician and use her experiences from Comet Closet to pursue involvement with a nonprofit organization. She was the co-founding fundraising coordinator of DECA at UT Dallas, in which she served as the vice president of the chapter, Texas State vice president, and was a competitor. She is the current president of Rotaract Club at UT Dallas, vice president of Photography for All, director of outreach of Comet Closet, and a member/competitor of HOSA. She also serves as a student worker for JSOM Undergraduate Programs. Read more articles

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