Harrison Smith, our talented Railsbank intern destined for Yale
How old are you?
What do you think about Railsbank and its API technology?
I think Railsbank is on the cusp of something amazing. Using an API with a built-in compliance firewall allows us to connect fintech entrepreneurs to a previously unreachable world of financial services for a previously unimaginable price, facilitating the fintech revolution.
For me personally, my experience at Railsbank has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for two reasons. Firstly, the faith shown in and the time given to me by everyone on the team has been unbelievable; there aren’t many companies that would entrust an 18 year old to test their technology, explain it to customers, and even suggest possible improvements. I appreciate it hugely. Secondly, the nature of the business and my role in it has meant that not only have I learnt how an enormous variety of financial services work, I have also got an incredible insight into how they could be improved through my work with our customers.
What will you be studying at Yale?
The beauty of university in the States is that you have the freedom to try lots of different courses and choose the ones you like the most; you don’t have to decide at 16 like you do here in the UK. That said, at the moment I hope to major in a course called EPE- Ethics, Politics, and Economics- and minor in both Spanish and Computer Science.
Who inspires you in business?
I try to draw inspiration and learn from everyone I meet; we’re all good at different things so I’ve always thought it’d be a waste to only focus on a few people. That being said, my colleagues at Railsbank obviously inspire me everyday with their optimism, work ethic, and creativity. Outside of the office I’m a huge fan of the work being done by a company called Zipline, which uses drones to deliver blood to remote villages in Rwanda. I think it’s a fantastic initiative and a great example of how business and entrepreneurialism is a much more sustainable way of alleviating poverty than aid.
Where do you see your career going?
All over the world is the short answer to that question. I want to experience life in a big corporate business, continue learning about running a business, then have my own. I hope to leave university with the ability to work in and contribute to a variety of places and sectors. Fundamentally, I want to have a career that allows me to keep learning, to explore the world, and to make it a better place.
What are your hobbies?
I like triathlon and cooking. I train everyday, regularly competing on the world stage. My best results have been 7th in the U20 World Triathlon Championships last autumn, 1st in the U20 European Duathlon Championships last spring, and 1st in the U20 World Duathlon Championships (run-bike-run) in 2016. I’d like to think I’m a half decent cook, though I’m yet to win any competitions.
Is there anything you would like to say in the blog?
I hope you enjoyed reading about me and my time at Railsbank. Look out for tutorial videos on how to use the API and for more posts about my fellow interns, who are far more impressive than me.