MIT Sloan Action Learning
Finance Labs
Finance Labs

Finance Research Practicum and Finance Proseminars

The Finance Research Practicum and Finance Proseminars are Action Learning opportunities offered by the Finance Group. The courses are open to all graduate students and meet the Action Learning requirement for the MBA Finance Track and Master of Finance programs.

The Finance Research Practicum is a key element of MIT Sloan's Master of Finance program and is open to other graduate-level students who have completed the prerequisites. In this course, students work in teams on projects proposed by external sponsors. The goal is to provide students with an outstanding opportunity to work with leading industry practitioners on important business problems, while helping them bridge the gap between theory and practice and introducing them to the broader financial community. Students work full-time on the course during IAP and part-time for several weeks before and after.

Some recent Finance Research Practicum projects have included:

  • Developing a model for valuing and hedging variable annuity guarantees
  • Developing valuation-based strategic recommendations for a business unit which is underperforming
  • Developing a point of view on the merits of low-volatility equity strategies

Finance Proseminars also offer students an opportunity to apply what they've learned in class to authentic industry problems. Students work in teams to tackle issues posed by company sponsors and present findings to leading experts in the finance industry, as well as to their fellow classmates. The two current proseminars are the Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking (15.452) and the Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management (15.451).

The Finance Proseminars are one-semester courses that offer students experience in the complex task of developing and communicating solutions to the challenging financial problems facing businesses today. Students work in teams to tackle issues posed by company sponsors and present findings to the company sponsor and their fellow classmates.

Some recent Corporate Finance/Investment Banking proseminar project examples include:

  • Providing investment banking advice to a private equity-controlled chemical company, including valuation, analysis, and exit strategies
  • Evaluating an acquisition opportunity in the health care market
  • Assessing the long-term growth opportunities for a niche financing business.

Recent Investment Management/Capital Markets proseminar project examples include:

  • Constructing a rainy day fund that will perform well when equity prices are falling, volatility is increasing, and credit spreads are widening for a significant Boston-based hedge fund
  • Analyzing the cost of trading foreign exchange for a major New York-based asset management firm
  • Preparing an asset allocation analysis for a pension fund to account for the claims of corporate stakeholders
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