Brian White brought lessons from his successes, not only as an established actor, but also as a certified stock broker, youth activist, author and professional football player to the UT community Monday.
White came to speak about the principles behind building a successful career, regardless of the profession or field, at a talk sponsored by the African American Culture Committee.
“As we’ve grown up, the world has changed drastically,” White said. “The changes haven’t been necessarily for the best, and youth have been taught how to replicate success instead of creating their own.”
White defined success as having an identified ultimate goal and accomplishing it with continuous achievements.
“Life is a marathon, and achieving success takes multiple steps,” he said. “We cannot get to one point then stop. It has to be through constant effort.”
Through various undertakings during his life, White said he has learned where his passions lie and what does not work for him.
“While I was successful on Wall Street, I realized I had no passion for it,” White said. “Lessons like those are necessary in finding what works for us and where our destiny lies.”
Carissa Kelley, outgoing chair for African American Culture Committee and public relations junior, said having White on campus is interesting for students and he is someone they can identify with.
“Brian is an entrepreneur and has gone through various endeavors to get to the point in his life where he can reach out to a younger generation,” Kelley said. “Our students are eager to go after what they want, and Brian is someone that can serve as an inspiration for them.”
Biology freshman Kenera Colley said she was amazed to hear White’s advice and apply it to her personal goals.
“His humility and ability to relate to a younger generation is awesome,” Colley said. “He is not only an accomplished actor, but also has countless other successes that inspire us to go find our own passions.”
Because he arrived to the field of acting with other achievements in his past, White said he was able to take the lessons he had learned with him and create new success.
“Our community is a team, and we are only as strong as our weakest link,” White said. “I was fortunate to have inspirational people motivate me throughout my life, so I want to pass those tools on to the younger generation.”