By JAMIA JORDAN
Araba Boayk, a 21-year-old sociology major, knows how to dress to impress when walking into the workplace. From her cool and easy going personality to her sophisticated-yet-stylish look, Boakye impresses many employers with her sense of style and charm.
With summer just around the corner and graduation even closer, many students are trying to land that summer internship or job. For starters, one must look the part to land the job.
Even for on-campus jobs it is important to display a professional look, especially if you are working in admissions or student activities, where you might work face-to-face with prospective Mary Washington students and their families.
As I sat down to chat with Boayke about her on-campus job and the dress attire for this position, I could not help but notice her outfit.
It was so well put together. What amazed me the most was how trendy it looked, but it was still appropriate enough for work.
She wore a spaghetti strap blue and green floral printed dress that fell slightly above the knee, accessorized with a thin yellow belt.
To add some color contrast she wore a red fitted blazer on top, but finished the outfit off with a pair of yellow flats. Boakye wore her glasses and pulled her hair out of her face to give off a sexy yet studious look.
Boakye works as a student aide in the Sociology department. Some of her job duties include making copies, scanning items, and taking documents from the sociology department to other departments.
“I do pre-grading prep work. The teacher might be looking for three key things in a paper and I have to find them and give it a pre-grade.”
Asked if there was a required dress code for working as a student aide in the department, Boakye said there are none.
“There are no spoken rules to how you are to dress, but I feel like as a student aide you are representing the school and the department and you should dress appropriately,” said Boakye.
“Student aides are usually the first people seen by outside guest on campus, so it is important for us to look respectable.”
In three words, I would describe Boayke’s sense of style as classic, vibrant and sophisticated.
“People have said that I have a very mature sense of style, it is a nice way of saying that I dress like an old lady,” said Boakye.
Her advice to students when trying to figure out what to wear when going on an interview is to put yourself in the shoes of the employer.
Would you honestly hire someone who showed up for an interview in a mini-skirt and hooker high heels? This would be dependent on the line of work of course, but generally not.
Boakye said, “Even though people don’t like to admit it they sometimes just go on appearance. Even though we do live in a society of free choice we must be thoughtful in our outfits.
Put your own twist in your outfit. Confirm to the work standards, but don’t allow that to take away your individual sense of style.”
She suggested shopping at stores such as Ross or H&M for less expensive work apparel. She even suggested checking out a vintage store downtown. Beacoup Vintage.
Accessorizing with simple items such as colorful scarfs, solid colored blazers, and head bands are key.
“My sense of style doesn’t really differ from work, I just dress based on the weather. I sometimes even wear bright colors when it’s cloudy outside. I put some thought into it before I just put something on,” said Boakye.
Sometimes taking that extra step to making sure that you look presentable when going in to a interview or even your current job could be a deal breaker or not. It’s always important to dress to impress.