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. It is also open to other graduate-level students who have completed the prerequisites. In this graduate-level finance course, students work in teams on substantive projects proposed by external sponsors. Our goal is to provide students with a meaningful opportunity to partner with leading industry practitioners on important topical 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.

Some recent Finance Research Practicum projects have included:

Investment Research

  • Assess the predictive power of leader-follower relationships among companies.
  • Use skew modeling to develop a signal for options trading.
  • Conduct an industry review of the cyber-security industry.

Business Strategy

  • Develop a plan for an investment firm to enter a new market.
  • Explore strategic options for an underperforming manufacturing division.

Risk Measurement

  • Develop a method for incorporating news analytics into covariance matrix estimation.
  • Investigate if start-up hedge funds have different risk characteristics than mature funds.

Public Sector

  • Use an agent-based model to simulate the effect of potential changes in regulations.
  • Study firm investment behavior in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

The Finance Proseminars are one-semester action learning 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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