From Military Service to Entrepreneurship: An Interview with Drexel CCI Grad C.J. Smith

CJ Smith

C.J. Smith (BS computing & security technology ’22) with Drexel diploma in hand.

College of Computing & Informatics (CCI) graduate C.J. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology from Drexel University in 2022. During his time at Drexel, Smith completed two Drexel Co-ops in the form of his own start-up businesses.

“Drexel actually taught me a lot,” Smith said. “Not just the people side of things, but also real-life experience in the business world, too.”

Smith’s first co-op involved starting Comshop Enterprises. His job as a security architect entails helping small and medium-sized businesses and nonprofits mitigate their security risks.

A second co-op to start GoToTeks, with the assistance of Drexel University's Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurshipallowed Smith to focus on customer support. Smith learned to create an I.T. support-ticket web application through which customers could submit issues and receive assistance in minutes.

Smith sees entrepreneurship as a natural extension of his studies at CCI.

“It was as simple as reaching out to my advisors and identifying who it is I wanted to be post-graduation,” said Smith.

Those discussions, “pushed me into just being a little bit more entrepreneurial,” he said. “And it being okay to say ‘I’m going to take that risk’ and let my ambition just take flight.”

Before attending Drexel, Smith had graduated high school in 2001, right before 9/11, and then served in the U.S. Army as a cannon crewmember.

“As a veteran, I live my life by my values I was taught in the military,” said Smith. “Life has taught me that I always need a team to get through life.”

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