As a businessman, engineer, and philanthropist, Robert F. Smith has been invited to speak on a wide range of issues.

Students at the Epic Day of Code event ask Robert F. Smith what advice he has for students as they prepare their pathway for college and careers. Smith encourages students to explore and investigate their curiosities. As current students in this day and age, Smith explains students have access to resources, access to computing power, and access to some of the greatest minds on the planet. It is a matter of deciding to tap into that and then take that to move forward.

Robert F. Smith answers a question from a student at the Epic Day of Code event. Smith shares how he has used his platform to give back in ways that help education and youth in America. He discusses how his mother instilled a value for philanthropy in him from a young age and his InternX program for matching STEM students with companies looking for interns.

During the Epic Day of Code event, Robert F. Smith answers questions from students on his internship experience with Bell Laboratories. Smith discusses educational opportunities, and how he learned about hard work, resilience and “the joy of figuring things out” at his life-changing internship at Bell Laboratories.

At the Epic Day of Code event, Robert F. Smith answers questions from students. A Colorado native, Smith describes how his childhood neighborhood in Denver was such an integral part of his journey to success. The encouragement and dedication of his family and community have inspired him to give back to other communities so more individuals can have access to the same opportunities he had.

Robert F. Smith discusses the cultural impact that the Apollo Theater has had on the community in Harlem and music fans around the world. Smith’s love of jazz music has led his company, Vista Equity Partners, to a partnership with the Apollo Theater. For more information about the Apollo Theater, visit its website at:

Robert F. Smith, Founder Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, talks about the internship that changed his life, and how he sees internship programs as a way to provide students with valuable learning opportunities and allows companies to access top talent and put students in a position where they can become better leaders in the future.

Robert F. Smith spoke to students at his Alma Mater, Columbia Business School, at the Columbia Black Business Students Association’s ELEVATE Conference on March 25, 2017. Smith, who received his MBA from Columbia in 1994, spoke with Darius Grant (‘17) about his career path and the opportunities that are available to students who are graduating and entering the workforce today.