Back in 2000, Robert Smith took a danger to begin his own business, known as Vista Equity Partners. His colleagues thought he was mad to leave his place at the highly trusted and successful Goldman Sachs. However, Smith did it anyway, and his business is worth $30 billion. Smith himself is worth about $2.5 billion, making him a spot on the Forbes list as the second-richest African American at the U.S., second only, which is, to Oprah.
“Like everything, you have to choose if you take a hazard or never, and I looked at it and said, ‘Well, how am I gont feel, you know, 15, 20 years from now, if I do not take this danger and go try this? ”’ Smith stated in an interview with 9News. “There’s that anxiety, that continuous fear of, you know, stepping backwards; you move off the pond. When I left Goldman, it was really that. I didn’t really have a backup strategy.”
“It is significant that these youthful African men know that there are people such as Robert Smith out there who can actually be heard from the sciences and engineering and in finance,” the prosperous businessman added.
Smith began at East High School, a public high school in Denver. As a high school freshman, he took an interest in computer engineering, to the point at which he soon devoted himself to securing an internship with Bell Labs in Denver, that had been designed for college juniors. Following six months of calling Bell Labs regarding the internship opportunity, he had been offered an interview. Smith worked for Bell Labs in the years that followed, and it was there that he climbed his love of mathematics.
After graduating from Cornell University, Smith took a position on Wall Street with Goldman Sachs, and then 1 day, he decided to begin his own business and never looked back.
Smith says his persistence has taken him this way, and it continues to do so. He needs young black guys to invest in their STEM (science, engineering, technology and mathematics) education.
“If you look at a lot of the gifts which I’m focused on driving, giving and directing, a lot of them are really towards producing opportunity for African Americans and women in STEM education,” Smith stated.