It’s that time of the year once again: Simultaneously dreaded and exciting, the Business and Technical Opportunities conferences are rapidly approaching. As everyone anxiously perfects their résumés to impress employers, it is easy to become worn out and forget about what’s most important when the day comes — looking the part of who you are and where you want to be.
Professional dressing is simple if it’s done right. The basic rules include: don’t wear unkempt clothing, keep hair out of the way, keep the pieces fitted, and accessorize efficiently. Once the fundamentals are fulfilled, it’s equally important to remember to retain some element of personality when presenting yourself to potential future coworkers. During the BOC and TOC, amid the hundreds of identical students, it is important to stand out and catch employers’ eyes.
Looking sharp, modern, and laid-back, doctoral math student Alexandra Klimova made her way to classes wearing a striped cap-sleeved blouse and effortlessly chic tailored pants with just the right amount of fluidity. Contrasting the array of blues, Klimova, who cited Russia as her style inspiration, paired the look with varying shades and textures of brown with a classic belt and feminine loafers. A matching tote, a perfectly spacious bag for anything from classes to job fairs, tied her look together — simple, elegant, and easy to move in.
To further elaborate on the secrets of looking pulled together, Rosalind Chow, a Tepper professor who teaches Organizational Behavior, shares her advice. “I like Audrey Hepburn’s way of dressing; it’s about personal preferences and what the job asks for.” Because of her petite frame, Chow makes sure to always have a custom fit on her pieces. In fact, many of them are uniquely designed to suit her shape, and the attention to detail and focus on her silhouette resonate through her outfit. In a crisp, ironed shirt and slim pinstripe pants, Chow looked confident and ready to go to work. To add an unexpected and bold touch, she carried a structural white shoulder bag that minimized bulkiness and streamlined her look.
Klimova’s business casual style was kept unfussy, and her color scheme stood out from the normal color choice of black and gray. Still, her sense of wearability and practicality was just as important as her sense for style. Because the BOC and TOC normally last around seven hours, it is absolutely imperative to choose pieces that won’t weigh you down or distract you. Furthermore, while Chow’s outfit is flattering and sleek, it kept the focus on her poise and personality.
The opportunities conferences will be the perfect time to show off exactly who you are — from demonstrating your academic skills to reciting your résumé, anything goes. Keeping your composure, staying nonchalant, and dressing for the part is just the right way to start making a lasting impression, opening up the perfect opportunity.