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Finance Research Practicum

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Finance Research Practicum

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Finance Research Practicum

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.
Finance Research Practicum

Info for Sponsors

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Information for Sponsors

The MIT Sloan Finance Group offers two Action Learning-focused opportunities in which sponsor companies may participate: the Finance Research Practicum and the Finance Proseminars. Detailed descriptions of the practicum and proseminars, along with sponsor-related information for the practicum and the proseminars, can be found below.

 The Finance Research Practicum

The Finance Research Practicum 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.

Sponsor responsibilities

Sponsors must have a relevant project with practical significance, and must be willing to write a short description of the project by November 1, 2016. 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.

Finance Research Practicum 

Contact information:
Gita R. Rao
Senior Lecturer, Finance
+1.617.324.7247
Email: grao@mit.edu 

Finance Research Practicum Timeline

  • SEPTEMBER 15TH

    Deadline for communicating intent to participate.

  • NOVEMBER 1ST

    Project descriptions are due from sponsors (should be ½ to 1 page long). If you need assistance, please submit a draft no later than October 15, 2014.

  • DECEMBER 1ST

    Students receive their assignments. During December, teams will coordinate the logistics with their sponsors.

  • JANUARY 9TH

    Course officially starts. Schedule permitting, some teams may begin their projects before this date.

  • FEBRUARY 3RD

    Last day students are available for full-time project work.

  • FEBRUARY/MARCH

    Student production of deliverables (unless produced during the full-time portion of the course) and post-Practicum follow-up.

FAQs for Finance Research Practicum Sponsors

Finance Research Practicum

Projects

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Sample Finance Research Practicum projects 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.
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The Finance Research Practicum℠ and Finance Proseminars are Action Learning opportunities offered by the Finance Group...

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