“Sports do so much for people. ... It tests your limits.” Sandra Smith, Fox Business Network anchor
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 10 minutes before each hour, Fox Business Network anchor Sandra Smith does a segment called “The Trade.” She reports from Chicago on financial markets, especially the commodities markets.
“I cover all financial news — stocks, bonds and commodities,” Smith said.
It’s a business she learned at home from her father, a floor trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
“We’re from a family of traders,” Smith said. “My family is in the financial business in Chicago. It was dinner table conversation for me.”
Smith attributes her drive to succeed in a highly competitive industry from the skills she learned from her years as a long-distance runner on the LSU track team.
“Sports do so much for people,” Smith said. ““It gives you a sense of team, what it means to be on a team. It tests your limits.”
When Smith transferred to LSU from Illinois State University in Bloomington-Normal, she had no idea of running on the track team. She was looking for a university in the South. She had studied French in high school and was attracted to Louisiana’s French culture.
Shortly after she arrived at LSU, Smith heard that Mark Elliott, LSU’s assistant head track and field coach, was holding an open race with the girls on the LSU track team. For years, Smith had trained on her own, so she decided to enter the race.
“I ran a really great race and won it,” Smith said.
That’s when Elliott asked Smith to come to his office. It wasn’t long before she was a standout at LSU on the track team, which included Lolo Jones, the Olympic hurdler who finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles on Tuesday.
Smith and Jones trained separately, but they got to know each other at track events on many weekends. “Track events lasted all day long,” said Smith, who really admired Jones, who grew up with a single mom and a father who spent time in state prison. Jones was a determined young woman who did well in school, played the cello in high school and was determined to excel in track.
“She was always bright and cheery on the track, but she was serious about running,” Smith said. “She is just the sweetest, nicest person, on top of everything.”
Smith, who graduated in 2003, credits LSU with giving her a strong foundation for her career path. She took business courses and majored in French and speech. Sports, she said, gave her the discipline and endurance needed for a high-powered and competitive career in financial journalism.
“It challenges you, it makes you smarter, it makes you more aggressive,” Smith said in an interview on Media Beat, a syndicated column on media and business.
Smith often covers for other Fox Business anchors and appears with Sean Hannity every Wednesday night.
“I’m all over the map,” she said.
These days she is watching the Olympics and pulling for her former teammate.
“I cry when I see her,” she said. “It’s so neat to watch her progress.”