the gentleman factory
Suit Scholarship + Professional Development Bootcamp
Founded in 2014, The Gentleman Factory was the first event hosted by our young team. After several failed attempts to establish a professional development program for University of Houston students, Jose Avalos finally got it right.
The way the program started is a funny story that Jose would be happy to share. Just ask!
The Gentleman Factory is best summarized as a suit scholarship + professional development bootcamp. Scholarship recipients recieve a brand new tailored suit and access to a series of expert led workshops focused on student success. Suitmart, a Houston men's clothing store, has been a vital partner in obtaining great quality suits at an affordable rate. The recipients have all been selected from the University of Houston, which is were the majority of the leadership team obtained their Bachelors Degree.
In 2014, 10 students were selected from the Bauer College of Business to be awarded the scholarship. It was a very successful first event for our team and we were all super excited of the results. Students were engaged with workshops covering personal branding, networking, mentors, time management, personal finance, body language, and dress etiquette. All topic we feel like are super important, but get little discussion.
In 2015, we opened up the program to students from all the colleges at the University of Houston. We doubled the number and awarded 20 students that came from a variety of colleges. This year we learned there was a bigger need outside the business college for professional development knowledge. Our biggest success was creating friendships with students from different colleges. Gersson Rosas, Houston Rockets VP, was the keynote speaker for the 2014 program.
In 2016, the program hosted a new group of 20 students again. We received our first corporate sponsorship that year and we were all proud of the $1,000 check! The body language and personal finance workshops continued to be a student favorite. The keynote speaker for the 2016 program was Casey Mcneil, Forbes 30 Under 30, and the crowd loved him!
The Gentleman Factory hasn't been hosted since to gather resources and take the program to the next level. The goal has always been to include young men and women. We look forward to hosting the new version of this program Fall 2018!