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KPMG Leads the Way in Telling Interns What Not to Wear

KPMG loves to give its interns a hand when it comes to dress, handing out gift cards and goodies at summer and winter intern training to give them a head start on their business caj wardrobe. The winter intern situation got a little awkward this year when KPMG decided the ladies needed camisoles while the dudes got silk ties, but it seems summer training is back to the normal necklace/tie formula.

We've been on this beat since at least last year, obsessively stalking KPMG's Facebook page, and now the Wall Street Journal has decided KPMG fashion is worthy of its own post:

On Monday—just after a welcome dinner for its summer interns held at an Orlando hotel— KPMG held a fashion show for interns, in which the company’s campus recruiters modeled ensembles from Men’s Wearhouse Inc. and Gap Inc.'s Banana Republic,  and emcees presented slides with office style Do’s and Don’ts.

The approximately 1,200 summer interns each received $200 gift cards to the retailers (Men’s Wearhouse for the men and Banana Republic for the women), along with special discounts to make the money stretch a little further. Men also got a free silk tie, and women received an office-appropriate piece of jewelry.

Looking at the photos on FB, it looks like some of the models could use tips on fit themselves but hey, maybe that's asking too much.

As it turns out, KPMG spends a pretty penny on making sure its interns can dress appropriately, and it's due to the fact that interns have no freaking clue how to dress for work:

With about 2,000 interns annually, the company now spends some $400,000 on the gift cards alone. That big-ticket investment is worthwhile, since today’s interns are likely to become tomorrow’s full-time staffers, says Kathy Schaum, national campus recruiting director and a onetime KPMG intern. More than 90% of U.S. interns receive full-time offers, and more than 90% of them accept the bids, she says.

The show and shopping spree were prompted by interns’ questions about KPMG’s business casual dress code, and because some interns dressed “not in a way that we would have preferred,” Schaum says.

Schaum told WSJ that giving out the cards last year was like "an Oprah moment."

Interestingly, KPMG spends more on gift cards than anyone:

Men’s Wearhouse conducts about 2,000 “How to Dress for Success” seminars around the country each year for high school and college students and military personnel, as well as for business professionals. While those generally come with coupons for participants, and a few other companies fund limited employee shopping sprees, KPMG’s is by far the biggest in terms of gift cards, says Men’s Wearhouse Vice President of Special Projects Don Botill.

So keep making poor fashion choices, interns, and the firms will keep paying for appropriate clothes!