School of Business

Whitworth Home Page > School of Business > Dean's Executive Speaker Series >

The Dean's Executive Speaker Series

J. Travis Prewitt
Vice President of Investments, UBS Financial Services

Travis PrewittIn addition to his work as vice president of investments at Spokane-based UBS Financial Services, Inc., J. Travis Prewitt also serves as a director and financial advisor of The Pruitt Group. He is registered as a financial advisor in 12 states, mainly in the western region. Prewitt, a member of the Whitworth University Class of 1973, was previously an investment executive for Piper Jaffrey, also based in Spokane. He is a member of the Spokane Central Lions Club and El Katif Shrine, a part of the Spokane Scottish Rite Bodies. He has also served as an associate instructor in the graduate studies program at Indiana University.

Prewitt offered students the following tips for success:

  1. When you're in business, you have a brand whether you know it or not. It's better to manage and create your own brand consciously than to do damage control later.
  2. Never look down on honest labor. Your worth is not based on your job position. Not everyone can be rich and famous, but everyone can be honest, hardworking and kind.
  3. At some point, every successful person has had the support of another: If someone believes in you, you can succeed.
  4. The magic in business is being committed to something: Keep exploring until you find something to which you want to commit yourself. Then you can be successful.
  5. It doesn't matter what you know; it matters what you do. To know and not to do is not to know.
  6. The most valuable business book is How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie: The only things you learn that will matter are the ones you incorporate into your DNA. (You can purchase this book at http://www.amazon.com/How-Win-Friends-Influence-People/dp/0671027034.)
  7. Being able to inspire and get along with people is essential. Inspiration and collaboration are the majority of what we do in the business world.

Prewitt also gave students recommendations on how to become a millionaire:

  1. Live below your means. Choose financial independence over social status.
  2. Do not accept economic support after you have left your parents' home.
  3. Choose the right occupation.
  4. Never borrow money that will not increase in value. "If you have to pay off debt, you can't take risks."

He concluded his presentation with these final words of advice:

  1. Take risks while you're young. You have less to lose, and taking risks now can lead to a more successful future.
  2. Find the right floor and sweep it. Employers are much more likely to hire attitude and train skills.
  3. Don't be afraid to start at the bottom. Do your best in each position; eventually you'll be noticed and can begin to move up the ladder.
Travis Prewitt