Texas Tech University


97 Students Receive Dress for Success Scholarship to Help Purchase Professional Attire


Jacob Gordon  |  November 16, 2022

This fall semester, 97 students in the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business received a $500 Dress for Success Scholarship, which they can put toward buying professional attire. In total, the $49,000 was raised for the scholarship by a combination from donors during Texas Tech's Day of Giving and from the Rawls Advisory Council.

A big reason the Rawls Advisory Council was eager to donate was that the mission of the Dress for Success Scholarship aligned with the mission of the Rawls Advisory Council.

“We look for opportunities to elevate [Rawls College] students, so they can succeed not only as students, but also as professionals,” said Ryan Hughes, development chair of the Rawls Advisory Council. “Professional attire is just one piece of the puzzle, but having access to it builds confidence in an interview setting and eliminates a hurdle to access the best positions.”

Already, some of the award winners are feeling that increased confidence.

“I am very appreciative of the wonderful donors of the scholarship,” said Theresa Dinh, a senior majoring in finance. “It helped me build my confidence and preparation for the business world.”

To address the equitable needs of the scholarship earners, the idea of “professional” attire will be left up to the student and their unique needs. Some could decide to buy a new outfit for interviews or for the Rawls Career Fair, including a suit, a pair of shoes, some ties, and any accessories. Students who already have a business professional outfit can use the scholarship toward clothes that can be used on the job.

“Many students do not have adequate access to the amount of money it requires to look and feel their best in the professional world,” said Lasha Markham who served as program coordinator in the Rawls Career Management Center (CMC) and initiator of the Dress for Success Scholarship. “Being able to facilitate that for so many students means the world to me.”

Jazmin Bustamante, a senior majoring in accounting had a hard time finding personal funds for professional attire before receiving the Dress for Success Scholarship.

“This scholarship has definitely been a blessing,” said Bustamante. “Being a full-time student and working part-time, it has been difficult to be able to afford to purchase more clothes. Especially with winter around the corner, I will be able to purchase clothing that will be suitable for work while staying warm as well.”

Markham was inspired to create the Dress for Success scholarship while attending the Southern Association of Colleges and Employers conference in December 2021.

“I sat in a presentation by Louisiana State where they talked about a similar initiative, and it made me consider the students in our college and their potential needs.”

After a successful pitch of the scholarship idea to Barry Broughton, senior director of the Rawls CMC, Markham began working with the Rawls College development team to figure out the logistics to fund the scholarship.

“Before this experience, I never would have known what the development process looked like,” said Markham. “I could not have done any of this without the scholarship selection committee, the Rawls development team and the support of Barry. These people were integral in the entire process.”

As Markham reflects on her experience working to develop the Dress for Success scholarship, she is always sure to keep the students front-and-center in her mind.

“In our office, we did everything related to career services, except provide attire,” said Markham. “I genuinely hope this scholarship helps each one of the students to achieve their personal and professional goals and that students know the CMC is always here to assist with anything career related.”

For those who would like to support similar Rawls College programs like Dress for Success, please donate to the Rawls College of Business Fund for Excellence.