Meet our Alumni | Trey Edwards – Class of 2019
Life has a funny way of getting you where you need to be.
On my last day of undergrad at NC State University I stepped off of the campus bus and BAM, was suddenly hit straight on by a car driven by another student. Luckily, I walked away with no long term injuries but what did permanently change was my outlook on life.
Prior to the accident, I was driven but lacked a sense of urgency. I knew that I wanted to make something of myself but always felt as if I could wait 5 or 10 years to get started. After the accident, my mindset shifted. I was determined to make something of myself, and to get started today.
During the two years after I recovered from my injuries, I searched for a purpose worth devoting my newfound sense of passion towards. I worked in different industries including wine sales and technical recruiting but couldn’t seem to find the right fit. That quickly changed once I began working as an Account Executive for a prominent FinTech consulting firm.
In this role I was tasked with becoming a FinTech expert along with establishing relationships with prominent financial institutions including Bank of America & Ally Financial. Being new to FinTech, I immersed myself in books and local meetups to learn everything I could about financial technology.
One day during my studies I read a chapter on blockchain which would change my life forever. The book detailed the technology’s lofty aspirations of becoming more impactful than the internet itself.
I was hooked. During my blockchain rabbit hole I was fixated on one question:
If I truly believe that blockchain & digital currencies will change the world, what do I do with that knowledge? Do I continue to buy bitcoin and hope to get rich or do I dive in and help build the future?
I chose the latter and the decision altered the course of my life. I sought to learn as much as I could and found myself spending hours a day reading white papers, technical documentation and watching various online lectures. Eventually I came across the University of Nicosia’s Master’s in Digital Currency program which was taught, in part, by one of cryptocurrency’s most well renowned experts, Andreas Antonopolous.
I had never heard of the university but decided to enroll in the first course due to the opportunity to be taught by Antonopolous. That first course, which was free, reinforced my love for the subject and inspired me to enroll in the Master’s program.
As I progressed through the program I knew that I had found my passion. It was the first time which I truly enjoyed learning and I found myself thriving academically. The program focused on a variety of topics including understanding the idea of money, the technical intricacies of blockchain technology and the principles of innovation. Not only were these courses stimulating and insightful, but they also gave me the opportunity to interact with my peers from across the globe. Simply hearing and discussing the different perspectives of others further highlighted just how impactful digital currencies could be for the future of finance. With each one of these interactions, I knew that I was a part of a program that would shape the future.
Finally, after a year of balancing full time work as a Project Manager at a FinTech company and studying full time, I graduated Summa Cum Laude and became one of the youngest people in the world to earn the honors.
After graduating, I found an opportunity with one of the leading companies in the crypto industry, Coinbase. I work in product operations and am responsible for creating an effortless support experience for customers of our Coinbase Custody & Coinbase Card products.
I never would have thought that after getting hit by a car and graduating with an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Business that I would end up going back for a Masters in digital currencies. However, I couldn’t be happier with how life has turned out and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Project Manager, Coinbase
San Francisco, CA, USA
MSc in Digital Currency – UNIC, Class of 2019