MBA Finance Track
The Finance Track is an optional certificate program within the MBA program intended for both career changers and experienced finance professionals. Students who complete the Track are awarded a Certificate in Finance in addition to their MBA degree.
The Finance Track is an integrated program of courses and activities designed to:
- expose students to the institutions and practices of the financial world
- ground students in the principles of finance theory and in the application of theory to real problems
- provide students with a overview of professional opportunities in finance
- create a cohort of students and alumni in financial careers
Hear from the MBA Finance Track Faculty Director, John Parsons about the Finance Track experience.
A cornerstone of the Finance Track is course 15.403, Introduction to the Practice of Finance, a first-semester seminar limited to and required of Finance Track students. This course consists of faculty presentations, outside speakers, and activities designed to provide an overview of institutions, practices, and professional opportunities in finance, and to facilitate relationships and group learning experiences among Track students.
Other required courses include 15.401 Managerial Finance, 15.402 Corporate Finance, and one Action Learning course; a course where the primary focus is to solve a current business problem, typically with an external client. Pre-approved action learning courses include:
15.451 Proseminar in Capital Markets/Investment Management
Students work in teams to tackle original research problems in capital markets and investment management that have been posed by leading experts in the industry. Each team prepares a report and presents its analysis to the company sponsor and fellow students. Prerequisite of 15.401 Finance Theory I.
15.452 Proseminar in Corporate Finance/Investment Banking
Students work in teams to tackle original research problems in corporate finance and investment banking that have been posed by leading experts in the industry. Each team prepares a report and presents its analysis to the company sponsor and fellow students. Prerequisite of 15.402 Finance Theory II.
15.439 Investment Management
The course studies financial markets, principally equity markets, from an investment decision-making perspective. The course develops a set of conceptual frameworks and tools, and applies these to particular investments and investment strategies chosen from a broad array of companies, securities, and institutional contexts. Case studies are central to the course, and students are expected to prepare each case before class and participate extensively in class discussions.
15.S26 Finance Research Practicum
Students work in teams over IAP on projects proposed by external sponsors. Course provides an opportunity to work with leading industry practitioners on important business problems. Prerequisite of 15.450 Analytics of Finance.
To complete your certificate requirements, a rich roster of elective offerings allow for specialization in a variety of areas. There are limitless ways to combine the available Finance Track electives to target particular career objectives. Students have the flexibility to design a unique path tailored to their interests and career goals.
To round out your experience, Track students are encouraged to participate in at least one onsite event such as, but not limited to: New York Banking Day, London Banking Days, or the Boston Investment Management Day.
Outside of the classroom, the Finance Track offers sponsored seminars, networking opportunities with alumni and practitioners, academic and career counseling, and social events throughout your two-year tenure at MIT Sloan.
- I understand the appeal of the Finance Track to career changers who have no background in finance. Of what use is it to students with several years of experience?
Several things. First, even those with experience typically have experience in only one or two roles and/or industries within the finance sector. The Finance Track provides a broad overview of all the finance sectors and functions. Second, the Finance Track provides an opportunity for experienced students to “build their professional brand” among classmates, whom will become your very important alumni network within the industry. Third, being in the Track is an important signal to prospective employers that one is serious about a career in finance.
- The finance clubs also provide an opportunity for cohort and brand building. How is the Track different?
The clubs are more specific in their focus—the finance club on investment banking, investment management on investment management, etc.—whereas the Track is concerned with finance broadly. This provides an opportunity to build an understanding of, and a network within, subsectors of the finance world different than that of one’s intended career path. We believe that this knowledge network is valuable even if one spends one’s entire career in a specific subsector, as the other sectors may be suppliers or customers of the sector you are in.
- Are there any courses or activities restricted to Finance Track students that I will not be able to participate in if I do not enroll in the Track?
The only course that is exclusive to Finance Track students is 15.403 Introduction to the Practice of Finance, which is required in the first semester. There are also many special presentations and trainings (e.g., Wall Street Prep) that are sponsored by the Finance Track throughout the year, which are open first to Finance Track students and then to other MIT Sloan students on a space available basis. This is also the case with New York Finance Day.
- Do Finance Track students get preference when bidding for finance courses?
No, Finance Track students must complete the same bidding process for courses as other MBA students.
- How is the MBA Finance Track differentiated from the Master in Finance?
The Master of Finance program is a one-year intensive program in finance, targeted to recent undergraduates (those with two years or less work experience) and has a stronger technical emphasis than the MBA program. The Finance Track is part of a two-year MBA program targeted to students with several years of work experience.
The MBA program includes study of other management disciplines to develop students into managers, and the Finance Track allows students to integrate study of finance with study of other disciplines, such as economics, strategy, or behavioral science. MBA students also have an opportunity to participate in a summer internship, which Master of Finance students do not.
For more information on the Master of Finance, please visit: http://mitsloan.mit.edu/mfin/.
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