Profound Professors: Christopher Smith

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Economics-
how resources are allocated throughout society
— Christopher Smith

Mr.Smith teaches economics in class, but what he teaches about life goes far beyond the hypothetical world of business. It is about real world experiences and skills. 

courtesy of Mississippi College

courtesy of Mississippi College

Mr. Smith graduated from MC in 2001 with an Accounting Degree.  After his undergraduate degree at Mississippi College, he went to work at WorldCom, and while he was there, he decided that he wanted to learn more about business. Thus, he received his Masters degree from Mississippi College, and he is currently working on his PhD, writing his dissertation on International Economic Development. While striving towards his Masters degree, he was offered a position; Dr. Marcelo Eduardo asked him to help run the finance lab. Being a grad assistant made him realize that he was good at explaining financial concepts, and finally, Dr. Eduardo called him and asked him to become an instructor after he had worked for a company for 4 years. 

“I didn’t have this master plan for my life. I think God works pretty slow in my life. He reveals not a grand plan, but one step at a time. I feel like I have followed that and it has got me to a good spot so far.”
— Chris Smith

However, Mr. Smith's life has not been safe inside Mississippi College, his second day at WorldCom was September 11, 2001. The employees got sent home because they were the second-largest telecommunications firm in the country at the time and were concerned that they could be a potential target. 

“I haven’t had a day quite that dramatic since then, thank God, but that was my introduction to the working world.”
— Chris Smith

In 2002, WorldCom went bankrupt. He said, "Going through that at a young age and seeing such a large company go bankrupt made me realize our safety is not in employment, our job, or what we do because that can go away. I think that was an important lesson for me to learn early on because a lot of my identity was wrapped up in what I did and to have that taken away is a difficult lesson to learn."

One thing that Mr. Smith wants people to understand is that people can do good in business. He said that he feels business sometimes  gets a bad reputation, but people in business can do good as well. He believes that you can make an impact on the world through business. 

The most rewarding part about teaching for Mr. Smith is the relationships that form. The classroom is one way he gets to witness students mature over the years. Another way he gets to be a part of students lives is through sponsoring Civitan Men's Club.  He was in Civitan when he was a student at MC and is humbled by the opportunity to get to share what he has learned in life with the members of Civitan. 

“Each class is an opportunity to convey something to these students that they did not know when they walked in. Knowledge is a very powerful thing... it is something I take very seriously because I do want to create students who feel like they can be competitive and I want them to know what they believe and why they believe it... The classroom is a platform to do that. Yes we are talking accounting, economics, and finance, but those topics tend to surface opportunities to talk about things that are far more important and that is understanding who they are and why they are a Christian... When they go out in the real world they need their faith to be their own. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”
— Chris Smith
                                                                           Mr. Smith in Turkey

                                                                           Mr. Smith in Turkey

Mr. Smith had the opportunity to travel Europe while working on his PhD. He also traveled the Middle East with his wife while she was on tour with the Broadway Production Beauty and the Beast. Some of the countries he went to were Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, and the Netherlands. His favorite cities are Paris, Berlin, and Bruges. His advice to students is to study abroad if they can. 

                                                                       Mr. Smith and his wife in Dubai

                                                                       Mr. Smith and his wife in Dubai

“Travel abroad. Get out, go experience another culture. You learn a lot from traveling outside the United States and you see how other people do things. You figure out that there is more than one way that life can work for you. I think it is important to understand what it feels like to be a minority... It’s intimidating and it’s mystical... It makes you feel alive. It causes you to learn more about people who aren’t like you and haven’t grown up like you. I think that’s important. It helps you relate to people in a different way.”
— Chris Smith

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