Northeastern students boast myriad opportunities from Co-op yet still face a significant dilemma: changing their personal appearance to secure these desired jobs. 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-op 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 formal suits pass their peers dressed in more casual outfits, old band t-shirts and sweatpants. The amount of compromise, however, differs greatly among majors. Students majoring in creative or art based studies often experience a more lax approach to Co-op when compared to their Business majors counterparts. Business school co-op advisors insist that students maintain a professional appearance. Interviewers scrutinize every minute detail during the application process, piercings 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-op success in Fortune 500 companies reinforces Grimes’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. “It’ll 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-op 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...
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