Finance Research Practicum & Proseminars

The Finance Research PracticumTM and Proseminars are graduate-level finance elective courses in which 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.

Finance Research PracticumTM Process

The course is full-time during the month of January and includes some preparation and follow-up before and after the fulltime experience. The projects address real business problems and involve the use of one or more advanced technical skills, including financial econometrics, simulation, derivatives valuation, optimization, and related software and programming languages.

Finance Research PracticumTM Opportunities

Example projects have included: developing a model for valuating and hedging variable annuity guarantees; building a prototype for a model for valuing and hedging Brazil interest-rate options; creating an agent-based model of the stock market that generates endogenous volatility; and analyzing the history of commercialization of university-based research in the Boston area and identify common attributes of successful ventures.

Proseminars

Proseminars offer students an outstanding opportunity to work with leading industry practitioners on authentic industry problems, help students bridge the gap between theory and practice, and introduce them to the broader financial community. Students work in teams to tackle problems posed by company sponsors and present findings to leading experts in the finance industry and to classmates.

Project examples:

  • Provide investment banking advice to a private equity-controlled chemical company, including valuation, analysis, and exit strategies.
  • Analyze the cost of trading foreign exchange for a major New York-based asset management firm.
  • Construct a rainy day fund that will perform well when equity prices are falling, volatility in increasing, and credit spreads are widening for a significant Boston-based hedge fund.
  • Give recommendations on raising capital for a rapidly growing private company. 
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- Susan Hockfield
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