19 Students Graduate from New Fintech Program

Nineteen students are graduating from the University of Utah this academic year with newly available designations in financial technology (or fintech). The students are receiving a finance major with a fintech emphasis or a fintech minor.

The University of Utah announced the fintech academic programs in fall 2022. The fintech programs are jointly offered by the university’s David Eccles School of Business and the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering. These colleges are working together to provide students with the interdisciplinary experience they need to learn about this quickly growing industry.

“Fintech is one of the fastest growing industries in Utah and the world, and this program allows students to gain the skills and insight needed to be qualified for a growing number of jobs,” said Rachel Hayes, dean of the David Eccles School of Business. “The University of Utah is an emerging leader at fintech education, and we look forward to more opportunities in the future.”

In a related development, the University of Utah recently announced the University of Utah’s Stena Center for Financial Technology in January 2023 with the support of the Stena Foundation and a total funding commitment of up to $65 million over the next 10 years. The creation of this center on top of the new academic opportunities marks a big step toward the university’s goal to be a global hub for fintech education and research.

“The University of Utah is perfectly situated to be a leader at fintech – we have leading faculty in this field, a growing fintech center, a booming local fintech industry and many students eager to learn about this exciting field,” said Rich Brown, dean of the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering. “We invite everyone to get involved as students, industry partners, or research associates.”

Sebastiaan van Thiel is one of the students expecting to graduate with a finance major with a fintech emphasis in May 2024. He is already putting his degree to work as a product analyst at LoanPro, a local fintech company.

He said the fintech program at the University of Utah prepared him for managing a rapidly changing industry.

“I learned that the only constant in technology is change, making textbooks nearly obsolete the moment they’re printed,” van Thiel said. “Fintech is an area where you strap in for a rollercoaster ride through blockchain breakthroughs, AI innovations and digital banking revolutions.”

He suggested other students should explore what fintech can offer them.

“If you’re eager to see just how fast the world can move and want to collaborate with visionaries who craft innovative solutions, then fintech is where you need to be,” van Thiel said. “It’s the perfect playground for those looking to be at the forefront of solving fresh problems and transforming the financial landscape.”

Ella Kalkowski expects to graduate with a minor in fintech in May 2024. She is also getting a bachelor’s degree in management from the Eccles School. She enjoyed the rich learning experience she received in the fintech program.

“Throughout the fintech curriculum, courses encouraged daily discussions and research about current industry trends, providing me and my peers with real-time insights into fintech developments, she said. “I learned about practical applications for fintech across industries, exploring various use cases and sectors.”

Kalkowski encouraged other students to explore the world fintech.

“If you have even a remote interest in fintech, I would encourage you to enroll in the introductory course, especially if you’re still figuring out your interests and career path,” she said. “Exploring fintech can be particularly beneficial if it’s outside your comfort zone. Sometimes, trying something completely different offers a fresh perspective.”

All undergraduate students at the University of Utah are welcome to register for fintech academic opportunities. They can choose from electives, the minor, or the finance major with a fintech emphasis. Students can start with an introductory course then advance to one of the degree options.

Fintech students learn the range of business models and technologies disrupting financial services. They gain advanced knowledge and skills to succeed in the future, build a career and improve financial accessibility. After graduating, students join a rapidly growing industry, fueled by the rising demand for digital financial services, including mobile banking, e-commerce and digital wallets.

Learn more about fintech academic options and opportunities at the University of Utah at

Fintech Graduates in 2023-24

Here are the students who completed or are expected to complete degrees in fintech at the University of Utah in 2023-24:

Fintech Minor

  • Hase, Benjamin (spring 2024, economics major)
  • Johnson, Brooks (spring 2024, marketing)
  • James, Dalton (spring 2024, economics)
  • Kalkowski, Ella (spring 2024, management)
  • Dixit, Pratyush (spring 2024, information systems)
  • Thurman, Haydn (spring 2024, software development)
  • Pierre, Osee (spring 2024, computer science)
  • Plumlee, Braden (spring 2024, entrepreneurship)
  • Drafke, Ryan (spring 2024, economics)
  • Totty, Carson (summer 2024, family communication & human development)

Finance Major with Fintech Emphasis

  • Kleinman, Lauren (fall 2023)
  • Bindley, Bryce (spring 2024)
  • Horner, Alfred (spring 2024)
  • Fivaz, Mark (spring 2024)
  • Vrebalovich, James (spring 2024)
  • Van Thiel, Sebastiaan (summer 2024)
  • Watrin, Julian (summer 2024)
  • Mann, Eleanor (summer 2024)
  • Yuan, Zhennan (summer 2024)

About the David Eccles School of Business

The Eccles School is synonymous with “doing.” The Eccles experience provides a world-class business education with a unique, entrepreneurial focus on real-world scenarios where students put what they learn into practice long before graduation. Founded in 1917 and educating more than 6,000 students annually, the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business offers nine undergraduate majors, four MBAs, eight other graduate programs, a Ph.D. in five areas and executive education curricula. The school is also home to more than 20 institutes, centers and initiatives, which deliver academic research and support an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation. For more information, visit or call 801-581-7676.

About the John and Marcia Price College of Engineering

The University of Utah’s John and Marcia Price College of Engineering is the premier educational institution in Utah for computer science and technology as well as one of the top engineering schools in the nation. Each year, the college graduates more than 1,280 students from seven engineering disciplines and gives them the skills they need to succeed in the growing technology market. With world-class faculty and engineers, the college is also the center of pioneering research that will ultimately benefit the world. Learn more at

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