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FinTech: Here’s How Blockchain, Mobile Tech Is Boosting MBA Jobs In Payments

Amazon, Microsoft among payments providers tapping into b-school talent

Wed Mar 9 2016

BusinessBecause
The race to innovate in mobile payments is opening up fresh career opportunities for MBAs, as financial institutions and so-called fintech start-ups seek to capture a slice of the $390 billion digital payments market.

At Spain’s ESADE Business School, mobile industry companies’ interest in recruiting students has surged 30% over the past three years, said Iain McLoughlin, head of ESADE’s careers service.

“Digital and tech is the fastest growing industry in terms of both student interest and recruitment,” he said.

ESADE’s recruitment got a boost during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month: Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft, Bloomberg, HP and Expedia flocked to its Sant Cugat campus in search of talent.

Carmen Mosset, Amazon’s European operations recruiter, said: “We look for people with strong analytical skills and leadership qualities.”

The e-retailer has thrust itself into payments, launching in 2014 a mobile payment service and smartphone-compatible credit card reader. Last year it snapped up PayPal executive Patrick Gauthier to lead a new team focused on building a payments business.

Amazon’s fast growth — full-year sales topped $100 billion for the first time ever in 2015 — is opening up opportunities for promotion, Carmen added: “Newcomers can look forward to rapid professional growth.”

Núria González, an account manager with Microsoft, said the tech group, whose CEO is a Chicago Booth MBA, values b-school students’ business experience. “Their vision and strategy are key to working at Microsoft,” she said.

She added that Microsoft is seeking increasingly junior profiles — “candidates who are quick, curious and always looking to improve”. Such hires “bring with them a dynamic approach and freshness that more senior profiles lack”.

Microsoft said last year that it plans to relaunch Windows Wallet, its little-known mobile payments app, as it seeks growth beyond its Windows operating system and invests in its potentially more lucrative cloud computing business, Azure.

Amazon and Microsoft’s moves highlight a battle between traditional payments providers for growth in the space. The launch of Apple Pay has been widely viewed as spurring the contest. Others, including Google, Samsung and Alibaba, have entered the mobile payments race.

“Companies like MasterCard are competing for talent with other companies in the traditional tech space, such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Amazon, and Microsoft,” said Roxanne Hori, associate dean of corporate relations and career services at NYU Stern School of Business.

There are jobs not just at large corporations but smaller fintech players such as Silicon Valley’s Square, or Adyen and Worldpay of Europe. Venture capital investment in payments companies hit a record $3.8 billion in 2015, according to CB Insights.

In the Bay Area, “there is a lot of demand from employers and start-ups for people who understand fintech,” said Adair Morse, assistant professor of finance at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

Sue Thorn, careers director at the UK’s Warwick Business School, said: “Fintech — apps and digital services for banking and making payments — is a growing area. There are a lot of start-ups using technology in the finance industry looking for MBAs.”

The next big area of innovation in payments is tipped to be the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain. It emerged with the controversial cryptocurrency bitcoin but has since seen been embraced by a plethora of banks, from Goldman Sachs to Credit Suisse.

BNY Mellon, the bank, said recently blockchain could “significantly shake-up payments” by making transactions near-instantaneous.

Campbell Harvey, professor of finance at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, said blockchain pioneers are desperately scrambling to hire.

“They want to have a so-called blockchain tsar at their firm — someone who can coordinate a multi-disciplinary effort, so their firm comes out on the winning side rather than the losing side of blockchain disruption,” he said.

Andrei Kirilenko, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s former chief economist, agreed that career opportunities are opening up.

“There is tremendous potential in this technology,” said Andrei, who is director of the Centre for Global Finance and Technology at Imperial College Business School.

Student Reviews

Duke University Fuqua School of Business

Student

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31/10/2023

On Campus

Supportive atmosphere

The professors at Duke university exhibit exceptional commitment to the success and well-being of their students by ensuring their academic growth and fostering a supportive social atmosphere. Moreover, the entire community is recognized for its amicability and inclusiveness.

Maxwell

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30/03/2023

On Campus

Diversity

The people or the students are without a doubt Duke's greatest asset. While all students are driven to succeed, they are also enthusiastic about a variety of hobbies. You run across a huge lot of diversity. It is the ideal example of a school with well-rounded students and the ideal balance of campus life in a metropolis.

Anabelle

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Happy to school

All I could ever hope for is Duke University. That really epitomizes the "work hard, play hard" philosophy that elite colleges frequently pursue. Even though you'll have a lot of schooling to complete over the week, it's simple to keep focused because all of your friends are putting in similar amounts of effort. Many events taking place on and around campus on the weekends provide a great way to unwind. The combination of demanding academics and traditional college fun strikes the perfect balance.

Monica

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27/02/2023

On Campus

Good schooling

Living, eating, learning, and developing who you want to be as an adult are all fantastic at Duke. I participated in student athletics, and I couldn't have asked for a better interaction with the faculty and other students. I appreciate all of the help I get from the Duke community more than anything. Furthermore, the teachers take the time to get to know you, and the lectures are diverse and demanding (if you do the same). I'd give it a 10 out of 10.

Aline

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26/11/2022

On Campus

Beautiful School, Nice Classes

DU remains one the greatest and best universities that I have ever stepped in. The school is beautiful and neat. The classes are spacious and also very nice. I enjoyed attending my Lectures in those lecture halls. I also loved the Lecturers because of the good work they did. The university also has very good dorms that are given to students on first come first serve basis and they are affordable

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

Amazing experience

I received my B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Global Health with a minor in Chemistry from Duke University. I was able to grow as a student, scientist, and global health advocate with the help of my friends, professors, and other mentors I met along the way. A lot to learn if you look and ask, a great place to learn for those who want to learn.

Student

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29/06/2022

Blended

whirlwind of growth and change

An amazing 2 years, with covid and everything else happening Duke has been a place of growth for me. The courses , classes were one of a kind, online and on campus. But the valuable lessons learned in the classes are irreplicable. The students are amazing here, so much diversity , I had no problem fitting in. The teachers are down right brilliant and so helpful. Don't be afraid to ask them anything. Graduated with my MBA with Duke and now my future awaits.

Student

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29/06/2022

On Campus

One of the best for Business students

Graduated with an MBA. The classes were very insightful and engaging. The staff are very easy to deal with. The teachers and students, are truly amazing people. Grateful to all the people I've met along the way at Duke. I've learnt a great deal that will help me in my future endeavors. The campus itself is a marvel, it is beautiful.

Student

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16/06/2022

On Campus

The university campus is awesome

I graduated with a masters degree in Religious Studies from Duke University. One thing I really liked about the university is its huge campus. It is spread in a large area with a lot of greenery and also have the facilities of reading rooms for single person also. My department building was very well taken care of. The library is immensely populated with books for all your needs. The faculty is very nice to students. The classes are equipped with latest technology to cater the needs of students. The University also provides room rentals for international students. They are very well maintained and priority is given to the International students for a comfortable stay there. There are weekly events conducted by the University as well as Student clubs for the entertainment of students. Anybody can take part in them and show their talents. I enjoyed my degree and I graduated in 2021 and was very happy that I had graduated from a reputed University.

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