With the growth of emerging technology and on-demand service among consumers, more and more business students have goals of breaking into fintech- and for good reason. The buzz around fintech has increased exponentially since the pandemic, offering a field of opportunities (and enticing compensation) for professionals who want to drive transformational change in the financial industry. Employers in fintech value candidates who have a fundamental understanding of the financial market and its instruments and products, making business student candidates hot prospects. Whether it’s a lending startup or a Fortune 500 banking company, MBA students can leverage applicable skills in business and finance to land roles such as financial analysts, product managers, business development mangers, and project managers.
LSU Flores MBA Program student, Stephanie Breve, recently committed to a project management role at a fintech company after completing the one-year program this May. We spoke with Breve about how her background in traditional banking on Wallstreet, coupled with the lessons she learned throughout her MBA experience prepared her for a job in the booming fintech industry.
What initially drew you to the fintech industry?
I realized we are currently going through the biggest transformation in financial history because of financial technology. The reality is that fintech is shaping the future of banking. Fintech firms are bridging a gap by providing a frictionless delivery of financial services through their innovative technology.
When you were in the banking industry, what was your turning point where you decided you wanted to learn more about tech to take your career to the next level?
When I worked in banking, I noticed there were gaps in trying to get tasks done. In this digital age that we’re in, we as consumers are expecting our Amazon package to be delivered in two days. And there are times where you’re trying to deliver financial services and it’s not done in an expedited way to meet client expectations. For me, I knew there had to be more. That piece is technology. The team I will be joining after graduation provides financial institutions with a fully API-enabled platform that leverages artificial intelligence and component-based architecture. They work with different banks to help them stay modernized within this digital age by incorporating highly-configurable technology to financial services so that they can better serve clients. This is exciting to me because I will now be able to help banks design, build, and deploy innovative financial products and services through a modern platform.
Another piece is that the banking industry is very heavily regulated. With that comes a lot of different hurdles regarding compliance and getting tasks done in a prompt manner. Fintech firms don’t have these banking regulations burdens; they can deliver services in a way that’s seamless and frictionless, and consumers want that. I want to be part of the biggest innovative transformation in financial history
How did taking FIN 4910: Advanced Topics in Fintech as an elective help prepare you for a future in fintech?
Through this class with Professor Rajesh Narayanan and and Assistant Professor Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara, I’ve learned how fintech firms and their technologies are disrupting traditional financial services and solving different banking challenges through data, algorithm, blockchain, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, or other technologies. We learned how software can help mitigate the frictions that come with banking financial services. I’ve also been able to get a foundation of knowledge in paytech, ibuying, fintech lending, robo-advisory, decentralized finance, blockchains, and cryptocurrencies.
“Throughout my previous work experience, I have been in an industry that is male dominated. Most of the time in finance, you’re in a room where less than 10% of the people in that room are women. For me, being a minority in a room makes me feel excited to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone, and bring value from a different perspective- even if it’s a little intimidating.”
What’s your advice for someone wanting to get into fintech?
My mom gave me this advice when I was a little girl: if you set your mind to it, you can do it. I have stood by this throughout my personal and professional life. Just be determined, be persistent, and be consistent, and you will see results throughout your career, where you want to be, or who you want to be.
The LSU Flores MBA Program provides you with a flexible path to advance your career. Our nationally ranked program currently administers a traditional, two-year, full-time program, a one-year, full-time program for business majors, a part-time online (no residency requirement) program, and an Executive MBA Flex. For more information, visit mba.lsu.edu.