Billionaire entrepreneur Michael Dell gave good advice when he returned to the University of Texas at Austin as commencement speaker in 2003. “Try never to be the smartest person in the room,” he told the graduates of his alma mater.
I don’t have to worry about this when I lead faculty meetings at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. Every time I step into a room full of accomplished thinkers they teach me something new. Perhaps no one is the smartest person in the room in such an environment because everyone specializes in different areas and brings different perspectives.
Smith faculty members have a broad range of PhDs, plus real-world experience as consultants and business leaders. They have worked on Wall Street, Main Street and in government offices from the White House to the SEC.
They also have professional networks that span the globe. They speak Chinese, Russian, Spanish and more than a dozen other languages.
They attend key events and read the latest books, newspapers and journals. Often they are the ones delivering the keynote addresses and writing the articles that shape these forums.
Smith Brain Trust, a digital product launched in spring 2015, taps into this collective knowledge. Each week, faculty members respond to hot topics in the news and deliver bite-sized business insights — combined with research summaries and videos.
You don’t have to join the Smith faculty to have a seat at our next gathering. Smith Brain Trust opens the door. To subscribe, visit rhsmith.umd.edu/smithbraintrust.
Dean, Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland