Duke FinTech student and US Army veteran works for the first blockchain-based payments platform in the world

August 10, 2023 | Emilia Chiscop-Head

Duke FinTech student and US Army veteran works for the first blockchain-based payments platform in the world

Samuel Post served in the US Army for 12 years.

Even though he has not graduated yet, Samuel Post has already started his career as a financial technologist. A student in the new, cutting edge, FinTech online master’s program at the Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, Sam is working at JP Morgan for world’s first blockchain-based platform for wholesale payments, named Onyx.

The company is working to “transform the way that money, information and assets are moving around the world” by creating infrastructure and services such as digital assets, payments, and information sharing. “As a member of the Onyx Product Enablement Team, I collaborate with product owners and functional partners to drive the rollout of blockchain-based products and services. My focus lies in streamlining processes, driving efficiency gains, and scaling innovative ideas within the organization,” said Sam, who shared that he found this position through networking.

This is his third job. After high school Sam joined the army where he served for 12 years, from 2007 to 2019! “I was primarily stationed at Fort Bragg, but I also spent time in Germany and had an assignment at the Pentagon,” said Sam. The army veteran who served as tactical parachuting leader and had deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan is now on his path as a successful financial technologist.

Asked how the FinTech online program helps him in his current position, he mentioned three key skills that he gained since August 2020, when he was admitted as a FinTech online student: 1. hands-on experience using Blockchain and DLT; 2. Data Analytics and Machine Learning; and 3. Business operations, strategy, and entrepreneurship. The program has been instrumental in preparing him in two fundamental ways, he explained: “It provided me with a comprehensive understanding of innovative technologies in the financial industry and it exposed me to real-world case studies and industry trends that allowed me to be on top of most recent developments in the FinTech landscape.

The program offers extensive industry exposure through its well-designed course curriculum, internships, and capstone projects. “I learned to analyze market dynamics, identify opportunities for growth, and bring innovative ideas to scale effectively. This expertise has been invaluable in driving enhancements and efficiencies across multiple products in my role. Additionally, the emphasis on teamwork, collaboration, and effective communication in the program has been paramount in working with my current team,” Sam described.  He hopes to continue to be connected to the program, which is transforming his life, so that he can transform others through fintech innovation. Asked what advice he would like to give to incoming students, he is inviting them to maximize the opportunities that the program has to offer, particularly by “forging meaningful connections with individuals and organizations that align with their career goals.” Sam added: “Be proactive in managing relationships that can lead to future collaboration. Be a leader in group projects, deliver on time, be responsive to requests, and show that you have a genuine interest in the subject matter. This program provides more than a foundation for everything you need to be successful.”