Argos Suit Up!
For three hours on a Sunday evening in February, the JCPenney in University Town Plaza is taken over by a sea of green and blue. It’s Argos Suit Up, an initiative that makes it easier for University of West Florida students and alumni to dress to impress on a budget.
The program was launched in February 2018 when UWF President Martha Saunders pledged $10,000 of personal funds after learning about the national initiative through a UWF student.
Hosted by the Office of Career Development and Community Engagement, the event is made possible through donations and a partnership with JCPenney to provide an exclusive shopping experience for students and alumni and a 40 percent discount on eligible professional clothing. Donations from members of the community, including many UWF Foundation Board members and faculty and staff, allow the University to provide participants with gift cards, which are administered through an application process ahead of the event and at a raffle during the event.
More than 800 UWF students and alumni have taken advantage of the opportunity to purchase professional wear and accessories through Argos Suit Up. This initiative was designed to give each participant the support and confidence needed to enter the workforce.
“Regardless of the industry a student enters, they will be expected to dress professionally at some point, whether that is an interview or professional function where they represent their company,” said Lindsey Walk, director of Career Services. “Our goal in this program is to assist students so they can make a great first impression when they meet potential employers.”
Linda Tierney, a first-generation college student and alumna who earned a master’s degree from UWF in Spring 2018, attended Argos Suit Up before her graduation.
“I didn’t know how I was going to pay for professional wear,” Tierney said. “I was thinking of visiting thrift stores and using some of my paycheck, but then I got an email about the Suit Up program and applied.”
Tierney, like many others, wore her outfit to her first interview and was offered the job. She now works as a therapist in Pace, Florida.
Argos Suit Up will continue annually with the support of generous donors.
To learn more about giving to UWF, visit uwf.edu/give.
Pictured Top: UWF students visited JCPenney at University Town Plaza in February 2019 to expand their wardrobes during the annual Argos Suit Up event. Local donors provided students with gift cards to purchase professional outfits for interviews and internships.