In an internet age when it’s easy to open shop online and create your own business without a brick and mortar store, Tyler White, an integrated marketing communications major from the small town of Flora in Madison County, Mississippi, is on track to make $100,000 in sales from his custom apparel company TeeWhites this year.
The young entrepreneur has operated several of his own businesses, including TeeWhites – Custom Apparel and Tyler White Productions, while enrolled as a University of Mississippi student.
“I’ve used the skills I’ve learned from IMC to grow and market my custom apparel company quite big in just a few years,” he said.
TeeWhites offers custom T-shirts, apparel and promotional products. White works with companies offering full-service screen printing, embroidery services, presale hosting, warehousing and fulfillment services.
White landed a job as the social media manager for a multimillion-dollar global company that offers blockchain-enabled financial services to the mobile generation, providing consumers with ways to buy and protect bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“I started out at a community college playing baseball,” White said. “During my freshman year of college while playing baseball and school, I landed a gig doing marketing for BRD, the first Bitcoin app in the App Store now valued at over $100 million dollars. I fell in love with marketing and switched from political science to IMC. Best decision I ever made.”
“Having the opportunity to take what I was learning in class and go to a huge company where I was empowered to make decisions on my own and control key consumer touchpoints that reach 7 million users was incredible. I would go to class in Farley, learn something new, and the very next day, implement it at work. I work with ad agencies to decide where our $250,000 a month budget goes for advertising.”
Launched in 2015, and headquartered in Zurich (Switzerland), BRD is a venture-backed company that has raised $56 million U.S. dollars from investors focused on banking, FinTech, and the blockchain, according to a company news release.
White attended Tri-County Academy in Flora for high school, as well as Southwest Mississippi Community College where he was student body president.
White has been an Ole Miss fan his entire life with family ties to the university. His great-granduncle is Bruiser Kinard, the first All-American Football Player, who went on to become a coach and athletic director. He is also related to Billy Kinard, who was head coach at Ole Miss from 1971-1973.
“My time at Ole Miss has been very enjoyable,” White said. “From academics to a social life, there is no place on earth like Oxford, Mississippi. I love this place so much.”
A Taylor Medalist with a 4.0 GPA, White has been on the Chancellor’s List every semester. His college career includes many accolades, honors and academic organizations.
- IMC 391: Public Relations with Debbie Hall, instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications;
- JOUR 101: Media, News & Audience with Samir Husni, director of the Magazine Innovation Center, professor and Hederman Lecturer;
- JOUR 273: Creative Visual Thinking with Emily Bowen-Moore, instructional assistant professor of media design;
- JOUR 371: Communications Law with Charles Mitchell, associate professor;
- IMC 455, a capstone class in which you work with a real client taught by Chris Sparks, instructional assistant professor of integrated marketing communications.
Bowen-Moore said White stood out in her class as a kind, understanding and diligent student.
“His work was/is always on-point and very organized,” she said. “I still use his student work as strong examples to share with other students each semester. I will always respect his steadfast approach to learning.”
Husni remembers White as “a smart, attentive and engaging student who was always professionally dressed as if he treated his classes like a business. Top of class.”
This fall, White will be attending the University of Mississippi School of Law.
“Ideally, I’d like to get a job practicing law for several years, then eventually become a CMO of a big tech company,” he said.
White said the School of Journalism and New Media has great academics that are relevant for anyone pursing a degree in journalism or IMC.
“However, more than that, within the school, you find some of the best professors on planet Earth,” he said. “These professors aren’t just there to teach you, they are there to get to know you personally and help you meet your goals.
“Nearly every professor in the school also has work experience specific to the subject they are teaching, which allows them to pull real life experiences they had while working in the space. To me, this is invaluable. To anyone considering a degree in IMC, I cannot recommend it enough. An IMC degree is a great foundation for your future and can open up so many doors.”
White said he’s learned the importance of consistency and hard work.
“There are a lot of good brands and experienced workers, but those that put in the most work and don’t give up when speed bumps come their way are the ones that will succeed,” he said. “If you are doing what everyone else is doing, you will get the results everyone else is getting.
“To be the best, you have to work like the best. Whatever I do, I want the best. When I played baseball, I didn’t want to be a catcher, I wanted to be the catcher. This same principle applies to everything I do in life.”
This story was written by LaReeca Rucker.