RU Suited gives students one more reason to strive for success
Mariangely Colon’s first suit got a lot of use during the span of a semester.
First, the Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick sophomore who is studying accounting because she loves math was required to wear professional business attire to one of her classes.
Then, she had three interviews before she was chosen to attend Ernst & Young’s two-day Diversity Leadership Conference in Virginia, and she interviewed twice for her new position on the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee. She wore the suit again for a dining etiquette seminar hosted by the Office of Career Management.
“I love it,” she said smoothing out the jacket of her navy blue pant suit.
RU Suited, an initiative started by the Office of Career Management at Rutgers Business School-New Brunswick, made it possible for Colon to be ready for the opportunities she found on campus. She was one of 174 students who received a new suit during the 2017-2018 academic year – 60 percent of them received full funding to cover the cost of the suits.
“If it weren’t for the suit I have now, I don’t know how I would have dressed for these events and interviews,” Colon said.
Leigh-Ann Cobb, a senior program coordinator with the Office of Career Management, said she met Colon in December at Dining with the Distinguished, an annual event where students have a chance to network with working professionals.
Cobb took a special interest in Colon for a few reasons, including a connection they have to Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, where Cobb’s grandparents and Colon’s parents were born. She was also moved by Colon’s reluctance to take advantage of more campus events because she didn’t have the appropriate clothes.
Once Colon received her suit, Cobb said she was immediately more confident and more positive. “That’s what we like to see,” she said. Cobb was also the one who encouraged Colon to apply for a spot on the Rutgers Business School Innovation Committee, which promises to offer more opportunities for the accounting student.
The RU Suited initiative provides some students with suits at wholesale prices. Others apply to the program and if they are eligible, they receive a suit at no cost. In 2017, the Office of Career Management raised more than $20,000 from corporate sponsors and supporters of Rutgers Business School to subsidize the cost of suits for eligible students.
“I’m really grateful this program exists,” Colon said.
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