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How I Got Involved With Comet Closet

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The Comet Closet in a board meeting. It was an exciting time as the official website had just launched. From left: Whitney Hinze, Colin Holmes, Ola Saleh and Jiana Khazma

In January 2016, I was two semesters away from graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in supply chain management. I looked forward to finishing my undergraduate studies but had one major problem: Completing an internship is a requirement for graduation, and I had yet to find a suitable internship in my field. It was a stroke of luck, then, when I logged onto Comet Careers and saw an available internship for supply chain management conveniently located inside the Jindal School of Management. I’d only heard of Comet Closet briefly in passing from one of the undergraduate coordinators, so I decided to read the job description to find out more. The idea of the closet — to provide students an interview-appropriate professional dress, suit or other attire — was simple yet well-suited (pun intended) to a college campus where there existed a large need for professional clothes. It was also a great opportunity to benefit my fellow students, to work in an environment comparable to a startup company, and to gain some experience in the field of supply chain management. The only potential downside to the internship was that it wasn’t paid. Despite that fact, I figured that the previously mentioned positives and the ability to walk up a flight of stairs from my internship to get to class was the level of convenience I needed since I was taking 18 hours of coursework. After thinking through the decision thoroughly, I submitted my résumé and crossed my fingers. Within a week, I heard back from the Comet Closet, interviewed and was hired as one of two supply chain interns.

At the time, the Comet Closet team consisted of two undergraduate coordinator advisors, three other interns and three volunteers. The individuals who made up the organization were dedicated, hardworking and caring people. After meeting everyone I would be working with for the remainder of the semester, I was excited to see how far we could take Comet Closet. Throughout the following months, everyone’s efforts paid off as we saw “the Closet” begin to grow, make connections to the outside world and take shape as a successful organization. I gained valuable work experience from the internship and had the ability to make a lasting positive contribution to the JSOM. Through taking the internship with the Comet Closet, I had worked with an incredible team to shape the future of an organization that would hopefully be around and continue to benefit the students of the business school for years to come. I walked away from the experience with new knowledge and skills and a great sense of satisfaction.

It seemed to me that when I finished my spring internship with Comet Closet that I would have ultimately fulfilled my role in its future, but that was not the case. In the fall semester of 2016, I returned to work with Comet Closet as a volunteer on its executive board. However, my role changed from supply chain intern to a position titled “Director of Partners.” It was an opportunity to continue to learn new skills, grow as a person and make an impact at UT Dallas.

At the time of writing this post, the Comet Closet has over 1,000 items in inventory (five times as many as the spring of this year), has begun serving students, and is hoping to host an official grand opening in the spring of 2017. It has been a great experience so far working with the Comet Closet, and it will be exciting to continue to see the Closet grow and reach more and more students. 

Colin Holmes

Colin Holmes

Colin Holmes is a senior undergraduate Supply Chain Management student. After graduation, he plans to continue his education at the University of Texas at Dallas and earn an MS in Supply Chain Management and work in the field of international development. Read more articles

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