Why I Started Michigan’s Biggest FinTech Club, And How You Can Join
By Rishi Prasad, BBA ‘20
As a society, we are in the early stages of one of the largest and most exciting opportunities of our lifetime: the global reimagination of financial services, also known as FinTech.
FinTech (“financial technology”) refers to the dynamic and ever-growing intersection between financial services and technology, empowering consumers and enterprises with products that are superiorly designed, remarkably efficient, and wonderfully personalized.
As students, we have the opportunity to be shapers of this burgeoning industry. With some of the brightest engineering and business talent in the country, I knew the University of Michigan was well poised to emerge as a thought leader in FinTech education, innovation, and career development. This was the genesis of Michigan FinTech, a club I launched in the fall of 2017.
When it started, Michigan FinTech was the first and remains the largest FinTech initiative at the University of Michigan, connecting students, educators, innovators, and thought leaders in the field of financial technology. In its first year since launch, MFT has grown into a vibrant community of more than 500 students — both undergraduate and graduate — from virtually every background and major at the University of Michigan.
We hosted nearly a dozen on-campus events, collaborating with companies such as Citi Ventures & FinTech, Coinbase, MoneyLion, iEX, Clinc, and IBM on company presentations, recruiting events, technical workshops, and more. We even traveled to NYC with 16 of our members for our inaugural FinTech Trek, giving students direct exposure to the world of FinTech through office visits to leading firms (read about what we learned here). And we’re just getting started.
As we gear up for an even more exciting second year, here’s what to look out for:
- Company presentations and guest speakers to educate our members on the broad sphere of financial technology
- Recruiting events (full-time and internships) to connect our members with the companies leading the charge in financial innovation
- Technical workshops to introduce students to fundamental programming languages and skills
- FinTech Trek to San Francisco during Spring Break 2019
- Our inaugural FinTech Conference in January 2019, to bring together the brightest students, luminaries, thought leaders, and companies involved in the sector through our largest project to date
Advice for interested students
If you’re looking to dive deeper into the world of financial technology with MFT, here’s what you can do:
- Sign up for Michigan FinTech here (no application process; membership is open to all)
- Check out our beginner resources here
- Read about the latest FinTech trends here
It is incredibly exciting to see FinTech taking shape within Michigan Ross.
This past winter, the Ross BBA Program launched a new course titled FinTech Innovations, introducing students to the cutting-edge topics such as mobile payments, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, P2P lending, big data, and robo-advising.
As a supplement to this new course, Michigan Ross offered a global experiential learning opportunity in partnership with Google's parent company (Alphabet) at their London-based FinTech department over spring break. Experiences like these are a testament to our school’s commitment toward creating the forward-thinking, positive business professionals of tomorrow.
When you’re excited about bringing a new idea to students, there’s no better place to launch your movement then Michigan Ross. We are in an exciting time of massive change coupled with remarkable innovation. This industry is set to play an enormous role in our economy, and our hope is that more Ross students begin to explore the exciting opportunities in FinTech.
After all, who better to lead change than students?
Tell us about your internships
This summer, I was an Associate Product Management intern at Clinc, an Ann Arbor-based FinTech focused on building the most advanced conversational AI for enterprise. Last summer, I interned on the Data Science team of MoneyLion, a NYC-based FinTech in the wealth management and consumer lending spaces.
What are you involved with on campus?
I love building, creating and contributing to well-designed projects and products. I enjoy learning new programming languages and frameworks, turning ideas into reality through visual design, and creating motion graphics.