Devin Birkes: The Man Behind The Suit

For those of you who might not have heard of Devin Birkes, he is the most dapperly-dressed kid on campus. Whether you’re bringing him to a date function or seeing him walk to class, he makes sure to always look presentable while rocking an aura of confidence and friendliness. You know you can always strike up a conversation with him.

When I met with Devin, the 6’5" all-American kid (you know, the one your parents would love if you ever brought home), he greeted me at the door and was eager to talk about suits, bow ties, and business as we sat down in his modernly decorated apartment.

Name: Devin Birkes

Year: Junior

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Major: Hospitality

Her Campus (HC): What's your involvement here at FSU?

Devin Birkes (DB): I’m really involved in athletics here, particularly with basketball. In addition, I’m [also] very active in [Alpha Kappa Psi], a business fraternity here on campus. At AKPsi I’m the Sports Coordinator; I run all the sports, which I facilitate through FSU, and try to put on some local events.

HC: Did you know you wanted to be involved in these organizations when you first came to FSU?

DB:  I knew I wanted to do something with sports, and it’s taken a couple years to get to where I really have an impact. [With] AKPsi, I now work with almost 200 individuals doing what I love to do, and on top of that, I still get to play and be a part of it, [which is really neat].

HC: Have you been playing sports all your life?

DB: Ever since I was three, and all the way through my senior year of high school, I’ve been playing basketball.  I also played [water polo for two years].

HC: Do you think playing sports will help you with business in the future?

DB: Definitely! You learn a lot playing sports, especially basketball, because a lot of it is [teamwork], and [communicating] with your co-workers and teammates — that’s how you win. That goes for anything, whether it’s sports, working on a project, or even the military. [Playing sports] also teaches you how to be a leader, to be a follower, [how to] listen to instructions, and it also gives you that competitive nature — [the drive] to compete and want to do better, even if it’s friendly competition; to see who can sell more or bring in the most revenue.

HC: What’s your five-year plan for the future? What do you see yourself doing?

DB: Hopefully [I'll be] working with Disney, doing events for them. I currently work there now in two different restaurants, but hopefully soon I’ll get an internship with the various event groups they have at Disney, [preferably in] the sports field. I applied for a couple of those, but really [I just want to] get my foot in the door with events and start working on these bigger things, [so I can] really start shaping my future. [Then] one day maybe [I'll] even [run] sports for Disney or ESPN; I’d love to do College GameDay, work on the break down, set up, and run that event — it would be a lot of fun!

HC: Since you’d like to work for College GameDay, is there anything you'd want to change or add to it?

DB: I definitely wouldn’t change anything, but [as for] what I would add… that’s a great question. The experience is so much fun as it is, but I might try to make it even bigger! [I'd] maybe try to get more people involved. I mean, there’s already tons of people involved, but [I'd] maybe try to get even more people into it, you know, like people who might not want to come out because it’s too early in the morning. But really I’d know more once I’m there to see what I [could] bring to the table.

HC: Awesome! So, moving on to style, where did you learn how to dress so well?

DB: I come from a big military family, and growing up, my dad, who was a commander in the Navy, always had us dressing “smart.” My hair could never be long, always clean, [and] for the longest time I could even have sideburns, but by the time I got to middle school we had to change that [laughs]. However, I’ve always taken pride in how I dress. I’ve always liked looking good. It was one of the few [ways] I could fit in growing up; it was tailored to you, and it would look good. As far as bow ties go, two things kind of happened: one, I went [to] a semi formal event that actually called for bow ties, and I spent a great deal of time before the event learning how to tie one [laughs]; and two, my cousin, who was a Marine (we are very much alike, almost brothers, even though he’s 10 years older than I am), would always be rocking suspenders with a bow tie — everyone was so impressed, [and I] wanted to follow suit. So those were my two inspirations for learning to tie [a bow tie], and I’ve been looking good ever since. [Laughs]