Action Learning

Fin-Lab

The Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) bridges the gap between finance theory and practice, and introduces students to the broader financial community.

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Fin-Lab

Welcome

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Finance Lab

The Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) is a key element of MIT Sloan’s Master of Finance Program. We also welcome 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.

Fin-Lab

Projects

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Sample Projects

Investment Research

  • Use machine learning and AI techniques to research alpha signals in social media data (Glassdoor, etc.) 
  • Investigate a probability-based model for emerging markets currency crisis.  
  • Build a trading strategy for rates and currencies using the volatility risk premium. 

Venture Capital, PE, and Impact Investing

  • Conduct a comprehensive valuation and impact analysis for a VC portfolio company in the renewable energy space. 
  • Perform valuation analysis for a late-stage growth company in the SAAS space. 
  • Identify attractive PE targets in the small family-owned US manufacturing segment.
  • Build detailed valuation models for startup healthcare diagnostics company in South Asia. 

Trading and Risk Analysis

  • Use transaction-level intraday bond data to construct measures of overall bond market liquidity. 
  • Perform factor analysis on illiquid alternative investments like private equity and distressed credit. 
  • Analyze notional vs. actual trading liquidity in fixed income ETFs; factor crowding in strategies. 

 

Fin-Lab

Info for Sponsors

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Finance Lab

The Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) is a key element of MIT Sloan’s Master of Finance program. 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.

The Projects

We seek projects that address practical business problems, to be completed by a team of three to four highly motivated, well-trained students working full-time for a month. The majority of projects involve the use of one or more advanced technical skills, including financial econometrics, simulation, derivatives valuation, optimization, and related software and programming languages. We also seek a small number of less technical projects.

Interested in Becoming a Sponsor?

If you are interested in sponsoring a project for Fin-Lab, please email Professor Gita Rao.

Sponsor Responsibilities

Sponsors must have a relevant project with practical significance, and must be willing to write a short description of the project. The sponsor will partner with the students and faculty to identify the final project deliverable: a paper, presentation, software code, model, or any combination of these outputs. During the full-time segment of the project, sponsors should be able to allocate at least one to two hours a week to provide ongoing feedback, and guidance. However, some sponsors may provide more time, so availability will vary by sponsor. Sponsors may opt to host students in their offices during all or part of the month of January. While such sponsors are encouraged to reimburse student travel expenses, this is not required. Additionally, some sponsors elect to have their teams conduct the final presentations in-person, which may also entail travel expenses.

Software and Data

Students have access to Bloomberg, Capital IQ, Compustat, CRSP, FactSet, MATLAB, Mathematica, Barra, Northfield, Windham Portfolio Advisor, and a variety of other software tools and data sources. In some cases, the sponsor will provide data or software.

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Fin-Lab Host Timeline🔗

  • September 28, 2020🔗

    Deadline for communicating intent to participate.

  • October 12, 2020🔗

    Project descriptions are due from sponsors (one page or less). 

  • November 25, 2020🔗

    Students receive assignments and are introduced to their sponsors. 

  • January 4, 2021🔗

    Official start date (or earlier, schedule permitting). 

  • January 29, 2021🔗

    Official last day students are available for full-time project work.

  • February/March, 2021🔗

    Students present their research to sponsors and in class. 

Fin-Lab Sponsor FAQs 🔗

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Finance

The Finance Lab (Fin-Lab) and Finance Proseminars are Action Learning opportunities offered by the Finance Group.

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Bringing Theory to Life.

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