College – Issue 41

Dr Vaughan Smith Dr Vaughan Smith, the second recipient of an Honours Tie, sent his response from the United States, and thanked College for the role it played in his development as a leader. “Christ’s College gave me confidence that I could succeed at whatever I tried. As I finished my PhD in Electrical Engineering, I took my first job in investment banking, despite knowing little about finance, economics and strategy. When I wasn’t doing well after my first year, I didn’t give up.

He stepped into increasingly demanding roles, first at Telecom and then as he grew more excited about the internet, in Silicon Valley. “I started my Silicon Valley journey as CEO of a start-up called LiquidWit.” Eight months later, he closed it, but had the confidence to cold call the CEO of eBay who gave him a job, and so he began building a strong network in Silicon Valley. “The lesson I hope you take away, since it’s the most important one I left Christ’s College with, is go after what you want, don’t be

afraid to fail, and you’ll probably be surprised by what you can achieve.” Dr Smith also suggested the boys surround themselves with “the smartest and best people you can find”. Subsequently working at Facebook and eBay in Silicon Valley had been another step up, surrounded by some of the smartest and best in the world. “I recommend trying to get yourself on the best team tackling the biggest problems you can find.”

I had the confidence to work harder and become a star.”

College Issue 41 2021


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