Hometown Heroes: Suit A Bull gets USF students interview-ready

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Shorts and flip flops. It's a wardrobe staple for most college students and a great way to beat the Florida heat, but it's not the best outfit choice for a job interview. 

Ravi Mylavarapu is a senior at the University of South Florida and knows a thing or two about interviewing for an internship.

"It's all about those first impressions," said Ravi.

And that good first impression doesn't come cheap. A nice suit can cost upwards of $200. With most college students on a budget, it's a price a lot of young adults can't afford.

But thanks to Suit A Bull, students at USF can dress to impress their future employer for free.

"We have suits; we have blazers; we have shirts; we have blouses and we have skirts. We have everything you want except shoes. That will be coming later," explained Ravi.

A group of USF students created the suit rental program after noticing how unprofessional students were dressed at the school's career fairs.

In 2008, Suit A Bull opened its first store in a room the size of a closet. Seven years later, with the support of USF President Judy Genshaft and clothing donations from faculty, students can now shop in a much larger and more glamorous facility. 

"We really try to empower the students to come out to Suit A Bull, find something that works for them, fits for them,” explained Ravi. ”Then go out and own that interview and make sure they smile bright, and do it fantastically."

Suit A Bull has encouraged students like USF junior Gregory Wood to go out and command his interview.

"Once I came in here, it honestly just gave me a huge confidence booster knowing that I was getting a suit from this nice of an environment," said Gregory.  

The program has also helped Ravi land an internship at a top financial firm in Tampa.

"I walked into the career fair with my utmost confidence, smiling bright, knowing exactly what I was there for,” he said. “I went into the internship with the same mindset and wearing a nice suit. It worked perfectly and now I have my internship."

It's proof that sometimes the key to success begins with confidence and a sharp suit.

Click here for more information on Suit A Bull.