Journalism Enterprise Story
Northeastern students boast myriad opportunities from Co-pop yet still face a significant dilemma: changing their personal appearance to secure these desired lobs. Students with alternative appearances experience pressure from the corporate world to conform to their business appropriate standards. “No matter what, they’re going to form opinions,” said Co-pop assistant Margaret Grimes about businessmen looking for prospective employees.
A simple look across campus blatantly reveals the polarity between student and corporate style.Students wearing aroma suits pass their peers dressed in more casual outfits, old band t-shirts and sweatpants. The amount of compromise, however, defers greatly among majors. Students majoring in creative or art based studies often experience a more lax approach to Co-pop when compared to their Business majors counterparts. Business school co-pop advisors insist that students maintain a professional appearance. Interviewers scrutinize every minute detail during the application process, piercing and hair style Included. Grimes sees great value In cooperating with corporate demands for conservative attire.
In the Interview process there Is no compromise. You put your best self forward,” said Grimes. Her students’ Co-pop success In Fortune 500 companies reinforces Grime’s strict philosophy. She therefore continues to emphasize cooperation and conservatism to her students. Still, some students choose to disregard her advice. Predictably, these business majors do not meet company’s professional standards and are overlooked. Happen occasionally.
Not all the time but I have seen it happen,” said Grimes. The advisor laid out her expectations for physical appearance during Co-pop interviews. Men and women must wear formal shoes, shirts and pants.Ties are never optional, said Grimes. Her standards might seem rigid to some however Grimes Justifies their Importance after hearing success stories from her students. Completely forgoing one’s personal style Is not permanent. After securing the Job and wearing formal attire for several weeks, a student can then begin to experiment with Incorporating their personal style In an office setting, says Grimes.
Gradually have to find who you are in a company. That’s just a hard and fast rule,” said Grimes. Northeastern student Media Loose struggled with meeting a Meany’s standards in her Co-pop last year at a non-profit in New York City.Louse’s Co-pop advisers informed her of the guidelines for her interview. “They definitely said I should wear the general business palette,” said Loose. The student, an Occupy Northeastern protester, prefers a more casual approach to dressing. Around campus Loose wears Jeans, sweatshirts and alternative Jewelry.
Many would not consider her appearance controversial, however conservative businesspeople would definitely feel uncomfortable with her outgoing fashion risks. “l compromised a lot,” said Loose on changing her appearance to get the corporate bob. Loose eventually found her Identity and personal style within the workplace.Despite Initially conforming to secure the Job Loose left her Co-pop with a positive experience. Other Northeastern students are not as restricted during the Co-pop embodies the stereotype of “alternative” appearance. He proudly shows Off full sleeve of tattoos on one arm and more on his forearm, chest and back. Briggs constantly encounters animosity in public because of his controversial appearance.
‘I’m from a small town in New Hampshire. When I go home people the whole time are Just looking at me,” said Briggs. And this discrimination continues even at Northeastern. “l did a study abroad in Trinidad.Out of everybody in the group, I was the one kid chosen to get screened at the airport,” said Briggs. Despite this scrutiny, Briggs can count on one surprising place to find acceptance: his Co-pop. Ere only thing he did differently during the interview process was trade in his Jeans for a pair of dress pants, said Briggs.
Further, alternative appearances were not only acceptable but encouraged. During his Co-pop with a music production company last year Briggs saw tattoos and facial piercing on a regular basis. The guy who runs the department I was working in has two full sleeves,” said Briggs.Music Industry majors often sport facial piercing, tattoos, and alternative clothing styles. These attributes, however, rarely present problems during an interview, as evidenced in Briggs’ officemates. Craig Betting’s, Music Industry Co-pop adviser, acknowledges the different challenges his students face when applying for Jobs. “In music business I’m not as concerned with tattoos and hair styles.
The industry is much more open,” said Betting’s. Each industry, however, presents its own quirks for the interview process. Dressing formally could even hurt a student’s chances in an interview with a music business company. L have talked to companies that said a student wore a suit and that threw them off,” said Betting’s. “The baseline for interviews is to know the industry,” said Betting’s. An integral part of interviewing for Co-pop is finding the balance between personal style and respecting a company’s standards. And understanding the industry is vital.
Creative based industries encourage personal expression even in the workplace. These students rarely need to compromise their ideals or personal appearance for a Job opportunity. Many believe this approach supports a healthier lifestyle for Northeastern students.