Hermit Pride in Five: Craig Smith ’13
Hermit Pride in Five spotlights our proud Hermits Alumni. In this blog post, Craig Smith ’13, shares his most memorable experience at St. Augustine, provides advice for current students, and reveals the lessons learned during his time at the Prep.
Throughout your professional experience, what has been the most exciting or unique part of your career so far? Are there any accomplishments or rewarding moments that you’re especially proud of?
While working at WWE I had the opportunity to travel to different parts of the country to work during their pay-per-view events. On one particular occasion, I was asked to go out on stage during a segment of Monday Night RAW in front of an arena full of people while interacting with WWE SuperStars. Every Sunday, WWE Legend and CEO Vince McMahon and I would be the only two people at the WWE gym. It was surreal to work out next to a worldwide icon such as Mr. McMahon. Another rewarding moment during my time working for WWE was the formation of relationships with SuperStars such as Ronda Rousey and The Miz. I wrote, produced, and edited many shows that aired to WWE’s international audience. My passion has always been the NFL and I am extremely excited to start the next phase of my career with them.
Can you recount a memorable experience during your time at the Prep? What made this moment so memorable and impactful?
My most memorable experience at the Prep was my Caritas Project. Our classmate and friend, Matt Piratzky, was diagnosed with Leukemia. Mike Elfreth, Yaya File, and I wanted to help Matt in any way possible. We decided the first home football game of the year would be called “Marrow for Matt.” This consisted of a huge pregame tailgate, Bone Marrow donation tents, and students buying shirts with “Marrow For Matt” on the back of it. Through our efforts and that of the Prep Community, we were able to raise money for a Hermit Brother as well as bring awareness to Leukemia and how to make a difference through bone marrow donations. Marrow for Matt extended beyond Richland as it was a trending topic on Twitter as Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies even retweeted the event on his personal account!
What lessons and values learned at the Prep remain a part of your life? How has your experience as a Hermit assisted you on a personal and professional level?
Whether it is academics or sports, the Prep is an extremely competitive high school environment and that is what makes St. Augustine a great place. I would say the real world is no different, it is also very fast-paced and very competitive. In order to be on the Dean’s List or start for a varsity team at the Prep you have to put in the hard work. The same goes for the working world; I can attribute my work ethic to my time at St. Augustine.
The Prep dress code is something I have taken along with me as well. I may not wear a blazer to work everyday but I make sure I look the part. How you present yourself to your boss and co-workers truly matters.
What advice would you give to your fellow young alumni who are currently in college or are beginning their professional lives?
My biggest piece of advice would be to be patient. I found the period after graduating from college to be one of the more difficult times in my life. I did not get a job right away and as a result, felt a little lost. I would network with anyone you know. All it takes is one conversation or a random interaction with someone that could lead to a job opportunity. With that in mind be kind and selfless in public because you truly never know who is watching. I would say now is the time to take chances and try anything that interests you in the working world.
What guidance would you provide to current students to help them make the most of their time at St. Augustine?
ENJOY IT! Go to all the sporting events, enjoy Brotherhood Day, play basketball and football at lunch with your friends. You will never be in a situation like St. Augustine again. Your family has made incredibly challenging sacrifices so you can attend an amazing high school. Make the most of it and be sure to thank your family for making your time at the Prep possible!