MIT Sloan Action Learning
Finance Labs
Finance Labs

Information for Sponsors

The MIT Sloan Finance Group offers two Action Learning-focused opportunities in which sponsor companies may participate: the Finance Research Practicum and the Finance Proseminars. Detailed descriptions of the practicum and proseminars, along with sponsor-related information for the practicum and the proseminars, can be found below.

Finance Research Practicum
Finance Proseminars
FAQs for Finance Research Practicum Sponsors


The Finance Research Practicum

The Finance Research Practicum is a key element of MIT Sloan's Master of Finance program. In this graduate-level finance course, students work in teams on substantive projects proposed by external sponsors. Our goal is to provide students with an outstanding opportunity to work with leading industry practitioners on important finance problems, while helping them to bridge the gap between theory and practice and introducing them to the broader financial community. The course is full-time during the month of January and includes some preparation and follow-up before and after the full-time experience.

The projects

Finance Research Practicum organizers seek projects based on business problems that can be addressed by a team of approximately three highly motivated, well-trained students working full-time for a month. The majority of projects involve the use of one or more advanced technical skills, including financial econometrics, simulation, derivatives valuation, optimization, and related software and programming languages. We also seek a small number of less technical projects.

Sponsor responsibilities

Sponsors should have a finance-related project that is of importance to them and must be willing to write a short description of the project by November 1, 2013. Each sponsor will specify the final project deliverable, such as a paper, presentation, software code, model, or any combination of these items. During the full-time portion of the project, sponsors should allocate at least one to two hours a week to provide ongoing feedback, guidance, and direction to the student team. However, sponsors can feel free to provide more time to the team if schedules allow. Sponsors may opt to host students in their offices during all or part of the month of January, thus necessitating student travel if the sponsor is not located in the Boston area. In addition, some sponsors choose to have their team conduct a final in-person presentation, which also may involve travel expenses. While sponsors are encouraged to pay for student travel expenses for such an engagement, this is not required.

Software and data

Students have access to Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Compustat, CRSP, FactSet, MATLAB, Mathematica, Barra, Northfield, Windham Portfolio Advisor, and a variety of other software tools and data sources. In some cases, the sponsor will provide data or software.

For a closer look at common questions about becoming a sponsor for the Finance Research Practicum, please read these FAQs.

Download the Finance Research Practicum brochure. (PDF)

Finance Research Practicum contact information:

John Minahan, Senior Lecturer, Finance, MIT Sloan
100 Main Street, E62-684
Cambridge, MA 02142-1347


The Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking and the Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management

The Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking and the Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management are one-semester courses that offer students experience in developing and communicating solutions to challenging financial problems facing business today. Students work in teams to tackle issues posed by company sponsors and present findings to the company sponsor and their fellow classmates. For more information about sponsoring a relevant project for the Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking, please contact John Parsons at For more information about sponsoring a project for the Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management, please contact Mark Kritzman at

Who can sponsor a project?

Companies or business entities with real, challenging problems in corporate finance/investment banking or in capital markets/investment management are eligible to sponsor a proseminar project. Sponsors are leaders in their field who are giving of their time and experience to engage students in this educational experience. Acting as a sponsor also helps to build a productive, long-term relationship between the company and MIT Sloan.

What is involved in being a project sponsor?

Before the proseminar class begins, corporate sponsors provide a written statement of their company’s problem and any materials they believe may be helpful in orienting the student team. After the teams have had a chance to familiarize themselves with the problem—but before the intensive work is performed—corporate sponsors conduct one telephone conference with the team or teams working on their problem to establish a clearer idea of the problem and address any questions the students may have. During the intensive work phase, teams may have additional questions, and the class instructor will coordinate how communication in this phase is managed based on guidance from the corporate sponsor. At the end of the project, corporate sponsors will attend a class session at which the student teams will present their solutions. A written copy of the presentation will be sent to the corporate sponsor in advance.

Download the Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management brochure. (PDF)

Download the Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking brochure. (PDF)

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