Master of Finance
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Frequently asked questions cover general topics about curriculum, teaching style, student life, and career support. Here you’ll find the specifics on application procedures and requirements, visiting campus, interviews, and financial considerations.
What is the MFin class size at MIT Sloan?
The MFin Class entering on July 2, 2018 is composed of 111 students. Each year, we look to seat a class of 110 to 120 students. Each year we anticipate enrolling 50 students in the 18-month format while the remaining students are enrolled in the 12-month format.
What is the difference between the MFin program and a finance-focused MBA from MIT Sloan?
The MFin program is geared towards early professionals who are looking for a finance-specific program that includes a deep dive into quantitative courses using modeling and computer programming skills. While MBA students can pursue a finance track at MIT Sloan, the program also equips graduates with a broader general management skill set and knowledge base. The applicant's career goals will largely determine which type of program to choose. Additionally, MFin students are able to use both MIT Sloan and MIT career resource centers, a huge bonus for MFin students.
Where can I view the class profile?
The class profile can be found online. This contains all of the statistics we have for our current class.
How busy is the program’s schedule? What time of day are classes?
The MFin program is rigorous and intensive to ensure that students have a strong understanding of the fundamentals of financial theory and practice. Balancing job searching with academics is also a challenge, but students have support along the way. Classes generally run between 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Typically on Fridays, students will work on recitations which is a review of the week's problem sets and lessons learned.
What are the classes like? Are they individually driven or team based?
The curriculum is team driven, in homework, projects, and case studies. The midterms and exams, however, are individual.
What’s the MFin curriculum like? Is the curriculum more quantitative oriented?
There is flexibility in the curriculum, and you may choose what kind of courses you want to take. However, there are several required courses - including 15.450 Analytics of Finance which is rigorous in quantitative skills—think stochastic calculus, financial econometrics, and simulation all in one semester. But you can choose your own path in regard to courses - for example, financial engineering corporate finance path, or more capital markets path. Electives can be selected from MIT Sloan, such as economics, mathematics, AI engineering and computer science. There is also an opportunity to take non-MFin courses from many other MIT departments. Some students even take courses at Harvard's professional schools. Only the summer courses (15.415 Finance Theory and 15.516 Accounting) are restricted to MFins. Other courses are open to MBAs, PhDs, MSMS students, and MIT undergrads, so there are opportunities to get to know students from across a broad spectrum of programs.
Is it possible to do an internship during the program?
Practical training is an important component of a student’s preparation. MFin students are expected, when possible, to take advantage of the many practical learning opportunities offered at MIT Sloan. In the 18-month format, students have the option to participate in a summer internship during their second summer semester. The 12-month format does not include a traditional internship. However, it offers students the optional Finance Research PracticumSM during the month of January. The Finance Research PracticumSM, available to both 18-month and 12-month students, is a student team-based project working on a high-impact business challenge facing a company sponsor who needs a real-time solution. During the Finance Research PracticumSM, students spend one month working directly with client teams at companies like Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, BlackRock, and Fairhaven Capital. International students must check with the International Students Office to ensure compliance with immigration regulations before participating in practical training.
Do MFin students have SIP and IAP?
MIT Sloan Innovation Period is held one week in October and one week in March. Independent Activities Period is MIT-wide and occurs during the entire month of January. MFins are free to do what they wish during IAP—Finance Research PracticumSM, travel, job search, etc. There are many optional, fun non-credit activities, sessions, lectures, and workshops held across campus. MFins are welcome, but not required, to participate in any of these.
How many classes are there in a week?
You can typically customize the number of classes between four and six. Each class is two lectures and a recitation.
What advantage do you believe the MIT Sloan MFin program has over other top MFin programs?
The brand name of MIT Sloan is extremely strong, particularly around the world. Unlike other MFin programs, we have consciously designed the MFin to be a great foundation study for the pillars of modern finance—so you can take a wonderful breadth of finance courses, but also tour the whole MIT campus for depth in technical areas you may want. It’s essentially broader than a finance engineering degree, but gives you the capacity to go deep if need be.
What are the MFin requirements?
The MFin degree includes required courses, and restricted electives, an Action Learning course; Proseminar and/or FRP, Finance and Ethics Regulation. Although not required, students may elect to complete a Master's thesis. The MFin program easily meets the Institutes' requirement of a minimum of 66 units of graduate-level credit, including at least 42 H-level units.
How long does it take to complete the program?
We offer the program in two formats: 12-months and 18-months. The degree requirements are the same for both formats. Students in the 12 months spend the summer plus two academic terms (fall and spring) in residence, and graduate in June. The 18-month format consists of four academic terms (summer, fall, spring, fall) and the opportunity to complete a summer internship and graduate in February. MIT undergraduates who have already taken 15.401, 15.402, and 15.501 have the option to complete the program in nine months (fall and spring terms) to complete the program requirements.
Can MFin students enroll in any of the MIT Sloan Certificate?
Yes, students are able to enroll and earn a certificate in one of the following three options while pursuing the MFin degree: Business Analytics, Healthcare or Sustainability.
Would the summer session occupy the full summer term?
The summer term is an intensive program that begins the first week in July and ends in late August. Over the summer term, all students take intensive courses in finance theory, corporate financial analysis, and financial mathematics. Students will also participate in the MFin Career Bootcamp.
When is the MFin Program start date?
Applicants admitted to the MFin program in 2018 were required to be on campus beginning on July 2, 2018. After the summer term, all MFin students attend the MFin Integration Day in early September 2018. This event is an important component of the MFin program and is focused on building a cohesive and inclusive cross-class community as we welcome back our returning 18-month MFins and introduce them to our new class. The activities include numerous community building exercises and networking opportunities.
What happens in the summer for MIT undergraduates who have already completed 15.401, 15.402 and 15.501?
These students will be encouraged to take finance jobs or internships during the summer to gain practical experience. However, MIT undergraduates will need to take the Programming Aptitude Test (PAT) and Math Assessment Test (MAT) at the start of the program in July.
Why not offer a degree in financial engineering?
Finance is broader than just financial engineering, which suggests “quants and traders only.” The MFin program addresses financial engineering as well as the broader area of finance. Students who are interested in a deeper dive into this area have the option of taking the Financial Engineering concentration offered in the program.
Can students complete the MFin program part-time or via distance learning?
No, the MFin program is full-time only and takes place on the MIT campus.
What’s the difference between the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) and the MFin program?
There are a number of differences between the CFA program and the MIT Sloan MFin program. First, the CFA program is focused on investment management, whereas the MFin program is broader and prepares students for careers in investment banking, corporate finance, finance-related consulting, risk management, financial technology, trading, central banking, and securities regulation, as well as investment management. Second, the CFA program, while focused on investment management, is a generalist program. That is, the level of depth at which it treats any given topic is determined by the question, “What does an investment professional who is not an expert on this topic need to know about the topic?” The MFin program, while providing this generalist perspective, also goes into considerable depth. Third, the CFA program is a distance learning program, whereas the MFin program is residential. This allows for a more intensive, total immersion experience, including significant peer learning. Finally, the CFA is a professional designation that involves becoming a member of a professional society, including subscribing to a code of ethics. The MFin program is a degree program that ends when you graduate; while we encourage alumni to stay connected to the School and to one another, this is not the same as being a member of a professional society.
Does the MIT MFin program accept transfer students from another MFin or MFE program?
The MIT Sloan MFin program does not accept any transfer credits and it is not possible to shorten our program based on work done elsewhere.
Is it possible to write a thesis while enrolled in the MFin program?
Yes, the thesis is optional and fulfills two of the three required general electives. The degree is the same (Master of Finance) for all graduates, whether they choose to write a thesis or not.
How many students pursue the Financial Engineering Concentration?
On average 25 students will pursue the Financial Engineering Concentration. There are many more students interested in FE yet customize their own curriculum without completing the concentration. Approximately 40% of the class will take the course 15.456 Financial Engineering, an advanced requirement for the FE concentration. Our employment report does not breakout FE students from the overall class; many of our graduates go into FE roles but do not complete the FE concentration.
What if my transcript is not in English?
We require all transcripts to be submitted in the original language, accompanied by an English translation. We accept translations issued by an institution or professional translating service, such as World Education Services (WES). If you are currently earning a degree, please submit your most up-to-date transcript.
If I have an international transcript, do I need to have an outside credential service evaluate it and provide you with a report?
While some applicants choose to have an outside credential service evaluate their transcript, it is not mandatory.
Can I submit my application even though I have not yet received the Analytical Writing Assessment score for my GMAT?
Yes, you may submit the application without an AWA score; however, this could delay our decision on your application.
Is there a minimum GPA?
There is no minimum GPA. Applicants who believe their GPA does not reflect their academic strength may offset it by demonstrated excellence in another area, such as the GMAT.
Should the essays follow a particular structure? How strict are the word limits?
No, we do not have a desired essay format. The structure is up to you; however, we ask that you stay within the word limit and answer the specific questions asked. While we will not eliminate your application if your essay is a few words over, please keep in mind that the Admissions Committee may not read anything past the extent of the word limit.
How do I submit letters of recommendation?
You will provide the recommenders’ contact information on the online application, and then your recommenders will submit their recommendations online. We prefer that you provide a professional or academic email address for your recommenders and not a personal one.
Should recommendations be in a question-answer format, or should they be in letter format?
We prefer the question-answer format because we require that the recommender answer all of the questions that we ask. If the recommender thinks the recommendation would be better suited to a letter format, that is fine, as long as all questions are covered.
Is there a minimum GMAT or GRE?
There are no minimums for applying to the MFin program in any category. We just ask that you please self-report your highest score only. All test scores will be verified after admission to the MFin programs.
I have a low score. Should I still apply?
Please understand that our selection process is holistic and applications are reviewed as a whole. It’s important that each component of your application be as strong as possible to provide an entire picture of your background and experiences. Because of this, it is possible to offset a low GMAT, GPA, etc., by succeeding in some other area. Also, whom we select depends on the pool for the given year because we are looking to enroll the most qualified and diverse class based on that pool. Given that, we do not offer admissions advice based on one piece of data, such as your GPA or test score or something else.
Are some parts of the application weighted more than others?
No single factor is more important than any other. For example, a low GMAT or GRE score may be successfully offset by strengths in other areas.
What is the application procedure for re-applicants?
Re-applicants must submit a new application every year. There is no difference in the application process for re-applicants as opposed to first-time applicants. For re-applicants, we look to see what has changed in your application and how you have grown as a person and a professional over the course of the year. These changes and improvements to your candidacy can be shown through writing a new essay and having updated recommendations supporting the changes and improvements you have made.
Can you provide feedback on my chances of being admitted?
Each year we receive more applications than places in the class. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources within our staff to provide individual application feedback, even if the applicant expresses a desire in re-applying for a future year.
In your experience, what is the most important thing that a current student applicant should be aware of?
In general, you should have a passion for finance and a strong motivation for the industry; some students are experienced in the industry and some show learning ability through coursework. Strong prior academics and understanding of how the MFin program will help achieve your career goals is valuable.
What types of questions are asked during the interview?
Interviews are composed of behavior and résumé questions - you should be prepared to speak about past teamwork experience and how you handle real-life situations, provide specific examples, and show your passion for the program and your goals.
Who reads the applications?
The applications are read first by an Admissions Committee, composed of the admissions professionals and reviewed by the Finance Faculty Committee, Current students and alumni are not part of the assessment review process.
Is it best to have a recommendation letter from someone who knows you better even if he or she isn't your direct supervisor?
We hope that one of the letters of recommendation will be from a direct supervisor. If this is not possible and you choose to get someone else at your current or former employer, then you will need to explain the absence of the supervisor’s recommendation in the optional/supplemental portion of the application.
One of my recommenders doesn’t speak or write in English. Is it okay if she composes the letter in a foreign language and I translate it into English?
Someone other than the applicant should translate the letter of recommendation; perhaps the recommender has an assistant who could help.
Can my recommenders submit their letters of recommendation after the application deadline?
All required application materials including letters of recommendation must be submitted by the deadline.
What kind of “major” background does the program prefer?
We accept candidates from a diversity of backgrounds, such as business and commerce, math, science, engineering, humanities, economics, etc.
Is an internship considered working experience?
Yes, an internship is professional work experience and will be considered in your application.
Are there any required courses students have to take in order to be admitted?
We do not have any required courses that students have to take to be admitted to the program, but many students have found it helpful to have background in calculus, statistics, linear algebra, probability and programming. Students have also found it helpful to take a course (online is acceptable) in computer programming such as R or Python. Check out our Suggested Background page for additional details on recommended coursework.
Do you think having a master’s degree in another area before applying to the MFin program is a plus?
We consider all aspects of your application when reviewing your candidacy. If you have already earned a master’s degree, we’d be interested to learn what type of study you pursued and what post-graduate goals you have planned.
Does the interview guarantee admission?
The interview does not guarantee admission, but it does mean your application has advanced to the next stage. Every admitted student will have received an interview prior to being admitted, but not every interviewed student will be admitted.
Is there a rolling admission for the MFin program?
The MFin program does not have rolling admissions. Applications will be reviewed after the deadline.
How do I apply to the MFin program?
Who can apply to the MFin program?
Applicants will need to earn an undergraduate degree before enrolling in the program. We accept applicants from three-year bachelors programs. MIT undergraduates who enroll in the MFin as a fifth-year student will be permitted to receive both the SB and the MFin degrees together if preferred, but all undergraduate requirements must be completed prior to enrolling formally in the MFin program.
Do I need an undergraduate degree in a particular field in order to apply?
No. We receive applications from economics, management, science, engineering, and mathematics majors, as well as other disciplines.
Do I need work experience in order to apply?
While some applicants may have several years of experience, this is not a requirement for admission. On average, our students have 0–4 years of prior work experience. A significant population of our students comes directly from undergraduate schools, but those students will typically have completed an internship during their undergraduate study.
Can I apply to MFin and another MIT Sloan program concurrently?
While we do not offer a dual degree option, prospective students can apply to multiple Sloan programs; however, each program makes admission decisions independently. Additionally, you must complete each application and pay each application fee. The application system will prompt you to use a different email address for each one.
Can I transfer credits to the MFin program from another Masters Program?
No, we do not accept transfer students.
Will the Admissions Committee expedite my application if it is submitted before the application deadline?
The Admissions Committee will begin reviewing all applications immediately after the application deadline. Unfortunately, we are not able to conduct any application reviews prior to the application deadline.
Is an interview required?
Interviews are by invitation only and are conducted in person in several locations globally, including here on campus at MIT Sloan. All students accepted into our program will be interviewed. An invitation to interview thus signals that your application has reached an advanced stage of consideration, but does not guarantee admission. Arrangements and detailed information will be provided if an interview request is extended to you. Please note: Skype interviews are strictly for extenuating circumstances and requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. We strongly recommend applicants follow our in-person interview policy. MFin Admissions staff travel to a number of hub cities globally each year.
What percentage of the pool gets an interview invitation?
There is no set number as it depends on the applicant pool in any given year. We interviewed approximately one-third of the applicant pool for each class.
How many applications were received last year, and how large is the class?
For the entering class of 2018, we received approximately 1,700 applications for a class size of 111.
Is it possible to waive the application fee?
To see if you qualify for an application fee waiver please visit the Application Fee section in our Application Instructions website.
Can the TOEFL/IELTS requirement be waived?
All applicants whose native language is not English and who have not received their entire undergraduate education in an English-speaking country must submit scores from one of two internationally recognized assessments of English language proficiency, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Test scores are valid for two years. For applicants planning to enter the program in 2019, we will consider scores for tests taken after January 3, 2017. Receiving your undergraduate degree in a country that lists English as an official language such as India, Pakistan, Hong Kong, or Singapore does not exempt you from the English language proficiency requirement.
Can I apply to the MFin program if I already have another master’s degree (e.g., an MBA)?
Yes, you may apply, but we suggest you use the optional/supplemental portion of the application to explain why our MFin program will help you achieve your goals and is valuable at this time.
Is it possible to waive the GMAT/GRE for any reason (e.g., already having a PhD)?
No, all applicants are required to submit valid test scores for either the GMAT or the GRE.
What is the MFin tuition charge?
The 12-month, 2017-2018 academic year tuition is $78,000. The 18-month tuition is $105,500. Tuition and fees for the 2018-2019 academic year have not yet been published.
Are Research Assistantships (RA) or Teaching Assistantships (TA) available to MFin students?
Students enrolled in the MFin program are expected to be self-funded. Although the MFin program does not offer RA or TA positions, our students are welcome to seek and apply for RA or TA opportunities that may exist in other programs or departments across MIT.
Are fellowships or scholarships available to MFin students?
The MFin program offers a limited number of merit-based fellowships. These fellowships are awarded to admitted candidates of all citizenships and academic backgrounds. All admitted candidates are considered for these fellowships. Fellowships are awarded to individuals with outstanding academic records, personal achievements, and professional promise. Further consideration will be given to candidates who enhance the geographic diversity of the MFin class.
What is the function of the Career Development Office?
The CDO helps you think through what it is you want to do. They serve as your thought partner, to help you be successful whether or not you are changing careers and no matter how unusual your career goals. The CDO is not the only resource supporting you in this pursuit. Other resources include alumni, clubs, tracks and certificate staff, and greater MIT.
Are there networking events available during the fall term? Are these exclusive to MFin students, or do they cater to MIT Sloan as a whole?
Yes, the majority of networking events are in the fall—our recruiting partners typically dictate who gets to attend. It’s usually split between Intern presentations (first-year MBAs) and full-time presentations (second-year MBAs and MFin students).
A large amount of recruiting is done early in the year. How can the MFin program prepare me for recruiting if I haven't had enough academic experience at that time?
The Career Development Office provides you with the necessary resources (i.e., network, cover letter, résumé, interview workshops, etc.). Networking and alumni connections here are simply the best. You get to work with MBA students, Sloan Fellows, and MSMS students, and learn from them as well. Also, you will have access to the MIT Sloan alumni network, many of whom are very involved in the recruiting process.
Does the lack of an internship period in the 12-month option make it difficult to find jobs? How will international students be placed? Does this make recruiting difficult?
It is beneficial to have a financial internship on your record, so it is advisable to seek one before enrolling in the MFin program. However, even though a formal internship is not part of the program, typically students are able to find a suitable job through a combination of displaying a real passion for finance, having a clear explanation of how they can contribute to their employer, and a diligent approach to their job search throughout the year.
How do students from outside the U.S. find jobs? Is recruiting difficult for them?
It can be challenging for international students to find full-time employment, in that it is often not possible for international students to work in the United States, and companies from outside the U.S. find it difficult to travel here just to recruit. That said, many of our recruiters are interested in the best and brightest candidates they can find, regardless of their country of origin. It's also worth remembering that while the majority of our students are from outside the U.S., the majority of them are successful in finding jobs here. Of the offers received, 63 percent were in the United States.
If I am interested in a very quantitative job, would MIT Sloan’s MFin program not be appropriate for me? Should I opt for a quantitatively driven financial engineering program instead?
That is not the case at all. A great number of students come to the MFin program wanting to target quantitative job roles, and they have all found plenty of courses to meet their needs. Keep in mind that in addition to the classes offered specifically by MIT Sloan, students are also entitled to enroll in any class at MIT, including the other graduate departments, such as engineering, computing, mathematics, statistics, etc.
Did all the MFin students who were seeking employment find a job?
About 93 percent of the Class of 2015 seeking employment had secured an offer by October 2015 (when typical benchmarking takes place). Roles included asset management, M&A/securities issuance/advisory, sales & trading, quantitative finance, general management/strategy consulting, and finance consulting.
Do any of your MFin students seek employment outside of the pure-play finance fields?
Yes, we do have students who seek and secure roles outside of pure-play finance. Management consulting typically leads the way for non-finance roles, and we have also seen students secure jobs in the public policy and business development fields.
What are the career prospects for MFin graduates as opposed to MBA graduates?
This framework has proved useful for other students in the past: If you plan to execute a major career transition, then the MBA may be more suitable, because you may need to secure a work internship in your new industry to gain experience and ensure it is the right fit. However, if you have a tighter focus on your career and relevant skills and experience for a specific finance role that you are anticipating, then the MFin may be more suitable.
Do employers that come to campus look to recruit for analyst-level jobs or associate-equivalent level jobs?
As an MFin student, you have access to two distinct sources of Campus Recruiting: the main MIT campus and the business school here at MIT Sloan. Analyst roles predominate at the MIT side of the house-associate roles here at the business school. You are welcome to apply to both. Your fellow MBA business school students will also be applying for the associate roles here at MIT Sloan—so typically the MFins with three plus years of experience do well in applying for associate roles at the business school. Finally, some employers will actually post specifically for MFins, outline the job description, but leave the title as TBD, depending on your experience.
How many career fairs do you have each year? Are they for MFin students only, or are they for all MIT Sloan students?
At MIT, there are several career fairs on campus. The fall career fair on the main campus is the largest and is open to all MIT students. It's a typical "trade fair" or career fair, with lots of booths and over 300 firms. Main campus also has small specialized career fairs (e.g., European career fair, non-technology spring career fair) in the spring. There is also a career fair here at MIT Sloan in the spring, but it's very different. This one is for MIT Sloan students only, and firms are only allowed to come if they have a specific role they are looking to fill. They can interview for that role in the afternoon, so it is a much smaller affair and typically involves 20-25 companies.
If I were to concentrate in financial engineering, what level of expertise would I be able to achieve?
Our MFin program is positioned more to cover the breadth of finance, rather than to be laser focused on financial engineering. Students who have targeted quant roles like that have always found more than enough hard-core courses at MIT Sloan and at the broader MIT campus, and have been successful in finding roles like this upon graduation.
What distinguishes the MFin from an MBA career-wise?
From a career perspective, employers will have a greater expectation of your depth of technical expertise with respect to the concepts of modern finance, since MFin students typically take twice as many of the finance courses as their MBA peers. MFin students are perhaps showing a greater commitment to learning about the tools of finance, as opposed to learning about the tools of management in an MBA. The difference in degrees is important, but the level of work experience of each individual candidate is a huge factor, too.
Does MIT Sloan encourage alumni mentors to help students in finding jobs? How does career services encourage communication between alumni and current MFin students?
We certainly do urge our students to connect with both MIT and MIT Sloan alumni, but we do not formally connect them. We provide a database by which students can research alumni and connect themselves. This aligns with our broader career philosophy around teaching students how to get a job—both now and for the rest of their careers.
If I am a strategy consultant who wants to pursue a more finance-oriented career, how could the MFin program help me rebrand myself to investment banking (IBD) firms?
First, there is an academic component. The MFin program will give you finance, accounting, and leadership skills to build your toolkit. Then you can leverage established relationships between MIT Sloan and firms in this sector and by reaching out to alumni.
When does the recruiting process start for MFin students?
The recruiting season starts in September, and for many students, the process continues all the way through to graduation. A couple of points to consider: Here at the Career Development Office, we work very hard to share a program of 12–16 career-based workshops during the summer, after you have arrived, to help you best prepare for recruiting. In addition, we also share several career development and research resources online even before you arrive on campus, to help you tighten your career focus. Still, it is a very intensive process combining job search and study—one that requires a strong work ethic and good time management skills to be successful.
Do MFin students get job offers in the spring or in the fall? Is the spring career fair only looking for a small number of people since most have already found jobs?
It ranges, but over 50 percent of MFin students actually get their offer after January 1. In fairness, the career fair is not a major source of jobs. Most students secure their jobs on the basis of their own networking, reaching out and making connections with contacts in their target sector, and being very persistent in continuing this network until they impress a firm enough with their passion for their target role. On-campus interviews certainly yield jobs, but students are encouraged to be prepared for many months of networking to generate a market for their own labor services.
If I am planning for a complete career change, which program would you recommend?
Your MFin degree is an effective way to kick-start your career in the finance industry. The MBA is an ideal way to enhance your management skills and advance your career.
I am an accounting student and am interested in the Corporate Finance track. Is there anyone here currently tailoring their studies in this track? What is the typical career path for current graduates?
We have had some students with accounting backgrounds, but it depends on your interests. We’ve seen students leverage their understanding of the connectivity of the different financial statements to secure international business development roles. Depending on your experience and if you have helped firms improve their financial margins and performance, this can be a great skill set for private equity.
I am considering the career path of going to investment banking (IBD) following the MFin program, spending three to five years, and then making a leap to private equity (PE). In the long term, I hope to go to venture capital (VC). Do you think this is a feasible plan or are there better alternatives to realize my long-term goal?
IBD is probably the best first step if you really want PE, but both of these are very tough careers to secure—still if you make it, you may not want to pursue VC. VC funds typically like people with deeper industry background, since they are growing small companies, while PE shops do more financial re-engineering.
Is there an internship option in January?
In January, you have a Finance Research PracticumSM option. It is somewhat similar to an internship where teams of four students fulfill an academic project while working hand in hand with companies (many times on-site), solving real and rigorous problems agreed upon by the professors.
What career management activities are offered at MIT Sloan?
We have a deep offering of career programs to help you. We start in the summer with Career Core through July and August. We run sessions on building and writing a strong résumé and cover letter, working on your career story, studying interview and networking techniques, and doing mock company presentations. In the fall, we ramp up our mock interviews and our individual advising sessions. We also work with faculty and clubs to put on events like Capital Markets Day.
What experiences do you look for from applicants with engineering backgrounds? Would work experience add value to an application?
About 10 percent of our students in the class of 2015 have come from an engineering background. The one thing we look for in all of our applicants is an interest and passion for finance. That can be through academic courses or professional endeavors.
My research experience is mostly mathematical. I do not have work experience, but I really enjoy analyzing complex datasets. What do you suggest?
We do have students coming into the program with primarily research backgrounds (and limited professional experience), and we feel the program can be a very good fit for someone with your credentials. In the end, it really depends on what you want to get out of the program and the kind of position you are looking to get at the end of the program. Many companies value strong researchers.
Does the lack of an internship period in the program make it difficult to find jobs?
It does hurt to not have a financial internship on your record, so it is advisable to seek one before enrolling in the MFin program. However, even without an internship, every student is usually able to find a suitable job through a combination of extra effort, displaying a real passion for finance, and having the MIT Sloan name behind them.
International students oftentimes require work authorization. Does this make recruiting difficult?
There are some recruiting challenges for international students. It can be hard for international students to secure employment in the U.S., and some companies from outside the U.S. find it difficult to travel here just to recruit. That said, while the majority of MFin students are international, the majority of our students are secure jobs in the U.S. post-graduation. In addition, since the MFin program is STEM-approved, MFin graduates are eligible for up an OPT extension, allowing up to 3 years of work authorization in the U.S. post-graduation.
If I am interested in a very quantitative job, would MIT Sloan’s MFin program not be appropriate for me? Should I opt for a quantitatively driven financial engineering program instead?
A great number of students come to the MFin program wanting to target quantitative roles, and they have all found plenty of courses to meet their needs. Keep in mind that in addition to the classes offered specifically by MIT Sloan, students are also entitled to enroll in any class at MIT, including the other graduate departments, such as engineering, computing, mathematics, and statistics. MFin students also have the option to pursue a concentration in Financial Engineering.
What are the employment statistics for the MFin Class?
MFins graduates often start in asset management, consulting, investment banking, sales & trading, quantitative finance, traditional corporate finance roles, and financial leadership programs. We want to give all our students full credit for earning their job offers. We do not "place" students, in the traditional sense. However, we do offer a number of support services through the CDO.
What are the typical salary ranges we can expect after leaving the MFin program?
Salary is extremely dependent on experience. Analyst-level roles typically are compensated in the $60K—$80K range, while associate-level roles typically pay up to $100K or more. But remember, recruiters typically expect at least 3–5 years of experience in the workplace before they will consider candidates for the associate level.
What percentages of the class went into which fields, post-graduation?
Current Employment Reports detail the industries that MFins entered post-graduation.
There are two formats for the MFin program, an 18-month and a 12-month option. Does the 18-month require the same number of credits to graduate as the 12-month format?
Yes, the degree/credit requirements are the same for both MFin formats.
In terms of course design, how does the 18-month differ from the 12-month format? What will we be doing in the second fall semester? During the other semesters (including summer), are the courses the same for both program options?
The degree requirements are the same for both the 12-month and 18-month formats. Course design is consistent with our current degree requirements. The extra fall term includes required courses but also allows students to spread out their degree requirements over four terms, take additional courses, or use the extra time to write a thesis. It is really up to the individual student.
Are there any limitations on how many courses I can take?
Yes, there are unit limits per term, which is consistent with our practice today, and with all MIT Sloan degree programs. The maximum number of units per term is 66, of which MIT Sloan units cannot exceed 60.
Can students in the 18-month format take classes during the second summer term? Are they given the full academic resources of MFin students again in the second fall term?
For those in the 18-month program, no courses are offered during the second summer term, as that time is reserved for summer internships. Courses will resume again during the second fall term.
In regard to the concentrations, can those courses be taken as electives in the fall and spring as part of a normal course load? It says the concentration requirements are in addition to the MFin requirements. Does that imply a greater-than-normal course load or an extra term?
There is room within the unit limits to take concentration requirements in addition to degree requirements. Concentration requirements may be completed in either 12 or 18 months.
Is it possible to complete more than one of the three concentrations; Financial Engineering, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets?
No, students are limited to one concentration.
When should I decide whether or not to choose a concentration?
We will ask if you have an interest in pursuing a concentration in the MFin Application, which is not binding at that time. However, if you are considering a concentration, you should plan your courses accordingly before the first fall term bidding process. Dedicated MFin program advisors can help you navigate this process.
What are the course requirements for each concentration?
You can find a document detailing the concentration requirements on the MFin website.
Are 18-month program students eligible to participate in Action Learning opportunities in their last semester?
Students are not allowed to take Action Learning Labs that extend into IAP.
If I am accepted in the 18-month format, will I be given time to decide between the 12-month and 18-month formats prior to the start of the summer term?
If you are offered a seat in the 18-month, you may choose between the 12-month and 18-month formats, and will have several weeks after decisions are released to reply. Accepting the select 18-month format is a binding decision.
If I am undecided about the 12-month vs 18-month formats at the time of the MFin application deadline, what choice should I make in the application?
We recommend that if you are undecided about the 12-month vs 18-month option, you should select the “Both 12-month and 18-month” choice in your application so that you will be considered for both formats. You will not be able to change your mind after the application deadline.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT FAQS
Will the students selected in the 18-month format apply for full-time and internship positions simultaneously?
As an 18-month student, your full-time and internship searches are conducted sequentially, not simultaneously. You will first apply to participate in a summer internship, which typically runs from June to August. You may then choose to conduct a full-time job search when you return to campus in the fall, after your summer internship.
Does the Career Development Office (CDO) have previous experience in helping graduate students find summer internships? What tools and resources does the CDO have in place to help students secure summer internships?
Yes! The CDO has offered tools and resources for a summer internship since the inception of the MIT Sloan MBA program, which also allows for a summer internship. MFins are in a unique position to access both MIT Sloan and MIT main campus career resources and job postings. In additions, MFins also have dedicated career advisors to help them navigate their career exploration process.
Will the same career advisors provide full-time and internship job search support? Does MIT Sloan MFin program have its own career service support?
As an MFin student, you will work with a dedicated career advisor throughout the program, regardless of whether you participate in the 12-month or 18-month program. Your career advisor will work closely with you to provide a truly personalized advising experience.
Is an internship guaranteed, and will it be paid?
Students in the 18-month program format may conduct a summer internship search with the support of the CDO and its employer partners. Internships are typically paid, but the remuneration of an internship will depend on the opportunity. Nearly all students secure internships, but they are not guaranteed.
Will the 18-month format students share the same career assistance in the second fall term as the newly admitted students?
The 18-month participants who are returning for a second fall semester will have access to the same full-time, job-seeking resources as the newly entering class of MFin students.
What are the recruiting schedule and timeline for the MFin 12-month and 18-month options?
Students in the 12-month program will interview for full-time positions starting in the fall semester. During this same time, students in the 18-month program will recruit for internship opportunities during their first fall term. 18-month students may choose to look for full-time positions in their second fall term (after returning from their summer internships), while some may secure and accept returning full-time offers from their internship employers.
Will the students in the 18-month format compete with MBA students who are also looking for summer internships?
Typically no. The profile for MFin students differs from that of MBAs in terms of work experience and background. It is up to the hiring company to select which MIT Sloan population(s) it is targeting through internship postings.
Could you offer some perspective on how much of an impact the internship period could have in terms of helping students to secure a full-time position?
The opportunity to conduct an internship gives students additional practical experience, which in turn helps with the full-time job search. Some industries and companies focus on internships as a feeder pool for their full-time hiring requirements. For example, the majority of investment banking full-time hiring needs are typically filled from their internship class. When considering whether to apply for the 12-month or 18-month program, we strongly encourage you to research your target industry to understand how important having an internship is to that industry.
Are full-time career opportunities comparable for candidates across both the 12-month and 18-month program options given that the general recruiting cycle targets a summer start?
This really depends on the employer industry, job function and geography. Some of the larger employers with structured training programs may have two intakes to accommodate for different academic schedules (mostly in Asia). Many MFin students also go into the asset management industry, which tends to recruit in the spring. From a career perspective, the 18-month is well suited for students seeking to join an industry where a summer internship would be beneficial to secure a full-time offer.
If an 18-month program student receives a full-time offer to start before February graduation, is he or she allowed to work before the program ends?
No, students may not begin full-time employment before the program ends. As an 18-month student, you will be eligible to start work in January or February of the year of graduation, pending work authorization in the country of your employment.
I am an international student. Do you think the 18-month format will give me a better chance to find a job in the United States compared to the 12-month format given the summer internship opportunity?
Many factors are involved in a successful job search. Each student comes with a different background and career goals so there isn't a standard answer to this question. The 18-month format will allow you to gain additional practical training during the summer, but this needs to be taken into consideration with your existing experience and career goals.
A colleague at work with an MBA pointed out that when she graduated, it was quite common for employers to offer to pay students’ educational loans. Is that still common practice these days? From your experience, are some MFin students able to take advantage of this?
This was common a number of years ago for MBAs entering companies with larger training programs, but is not common as of late. We have not heard of this practice for MFins seeking opportunities in the United States.
I will be graduating in May of this year. What do people usually do to make good use of this 1-1.5-month period before matriculation at MIT Sloan?
Reaching out to your existing contacts to let them know your plans to attend graduate school can be beneficial. Depending on your background, you may also want to take a refresher course in mathematics. Finally, it would be easier for you to set up the administrative part of campus life (e.g. bank accounts, student cards, etc.) before starting at MIT Sloan in July.