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I mentioned that I’d be sharing some thoughts about pursuing my MBA, and I thought this post would be the perfect time to share one of my most immediate observations about my classmates: they dress better! This may be especially true for the Part-Time Professional Program, as most of the students are working in addition to their classes. So, we’re all coming from our corporate jobs right after work, meaning we’re all in business attire. I don’t know about you, but my undergraduate days were spent in comfortable clothing.
Ok, I’ll admit it… I went to class in yoga pants and a sweatshirt for most of my freshman and sophomore year! I upgraded from this habit slightly after a semi-embarrassing moment in the spring semester of my sophomore year. I had an 8 am class in an auditorium with about 200 other students, so my yoga pants and a sweatshirt were rarely noticed among the other pajama-clad students. A guest professor came to speak about a new program that was accepting applicants, and he requested that we give him a call at his office if we were interested in applying for the program. I called right after class, since I was only on campus 3 days per week, to set up a meeting for another time. It turns out he only had an opening within the hour, and was heading out of town for a conference for the next 2 weeks! He requested that I head to his office right then to discuss the program, which I was clearly reluctant to do, since I was NOT dressed to meet with a professor for, essentially, an interview. Needless to say, after attending that meeting in my gym clothes (and apologizing for my shoddy appearance), I determined that I should attend class dressed in jeans at minimum.
Fast forward a few years to my MBA days, where you’ll generally find me in suit pants, button-down shirt, and a blazer. Now that it’s warming up, you’ll probably find me in skirts and cardigans more often. It’s kind of nice to be presentation-ready at all times, and I’m glad I don’t feel the need to re-schedule based on how I’m dressed. It’s also nice to see my classmates looking professional, as it lends some additional credibility to the fact that we’re all hard-working professionals with a specific goal in mind. It’s also interesting because the professors don’t put “business attire required” on our presentation criteria anymore, since everyone seems to know the dress code. It always surprised me in undergrad presentations when people didn’t know how to “dress up”, so it’s been a pleasant surprise to see professional attire in each class. How do you dress for the different obligations in your day? Like the outfit? See more details here.