Fall Semester Course Reflections

Having completed my first full semester in the MIT Master of Finance program, I continue to be amazed by the scope and breadth of the classes on offer and the unsurpassed quality of instruction we receive.  As the holiday break ends and the spring semester approaches, I would like to give a shout out to a few of my favorite fall classes.

First, Financial Markets with Professor Jun Pan, which was essentially an empirical look at the financial markets (i.e., how financial theory compares to reality), was incredibly impactful in terms of its application to daily finance. Now, when I read a news article discussing interest rate changes, I think “well, how many standard deviations is that move?”

Another course I really enjoyed was Managing International Trade and Investment with Dante Roscini. The was a Harvard Business School course, structured to cover a wide array of historic global transactions and their impacts – the cases included stories of Central American banana plantations, Vietnamese catfish farms and Lesotho textile factories. This was a fascinating course, and the Harvard MBA students have a really interesting set of backgrounds, which facilitated stimulating in-class discussions.

A final class worth mentioning is Options and Futures with Professor John Cox, who is renowned for pioneering various option pricing methods, including the Cox-Ingersoll-Ross stochastic interest rate model. I had previously been exposed to option pricing, but this course provided an entirely new perspective on the subject. Essentially, all option pricing is accomplished through replicating the payoffs of the option with standard financial instruments and then assuming “no arbitrage” – this seems simple enough, but when put into practice there is a certain magic about it that is hard to describe. I am heading to Chicago in January to work with Seed CX, a start-up company founded by  recent MFin alumni that specializes in financial hedging instruments (and just received $3.4M in funding!) – Professor Cox’s course will no doubt act as a great segue into the role.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the beginning of Spring Semester!

Alan teGroen

MFin '18. Alan audited private equity firms with a Big 4 accounting firm before enrolling in Sloan's Masters of Finance program. He has long been interested in complex problems, enjoys reading and traveling, and has visited all continents except for Antarctica.

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