Student Experience

Student Perspectives

“The resources at MIT are amazing in the sense that you can get access to great professors, research opportunities, good classes. For example in undergraduate you don’t really know what you’re doing until end of junior year beginning of senior...

Tom Qui read more
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“The resources at MIT are amazing in the sense that you can get access to great professors, research opportunities, good classes. For example in undergraduate you don’t really know what you’re doing until end of junior year beginning of senior year, but by that time you don’t have a lot of time to decide what to take. Here is one more year of added opportunity to focus on what you need to focus.

Everyone is talking about financial innovation, but not until you’ve worked in finance do you realize that there are so many unanswered questions. I came in here with a lot of questions and they’re getting answered.

The added value for me was the flexibility of the program. I knew what I needed to work on. For me, it was my programming skills, and stochastic calculus, which I did not take as an  undergraduate. I could easily do that here.

Going into the industry, obviously it is great to have a background at a school like MIT. Getting the M.Fin. degree helps open doors. At the same time you need to know why you’re coming here.”

Tom Qui

"After eight years in software, I started to think about what I really wanted to do. I’ve had a strong interest in finance since the very beginning. Finance was my biggest hobby. I took a step back and thought about my personality and what is the...

Kevin Zhu read more
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"After eight years in software, I started to think about what I really wanted to do. I’ve had a strong interest in finance since the very beginning. Finance was my biggest hobby. I took a step back and thought about my personality and what is the best career path; I questioned if an MBA is a prerequisite to get into that direction. I was leaning towards a specialized masters program either in quantitative finance or just finance in general.

If you look at finance programs, there are two categories. One is a general finance masters program that gives you a broader exposure to finance. The other is more specialized, programs like financial engineering. It’s an engineering program in the context of finance rather than a finance program in the context of engineering. 

The MIT Sloan MFin program is a combination of a business school experience with some MBA elements in it. It is an education that is broad and has a large selection of courses allowing you to focus in asset management or corporate/quantitative finance. Given that, I think MIT Sloan is a very natural choice for me. It provides strong education in both.”

I came here fully aware of the risk that even with MIT on my resume I may not be able to easily switch careers from software to finance. I think this program is giving me an education that benefits me not only at graduation, but for the rest of my life."

Kevin Zhu

“The program is structured in a way that you have two courses you must take. This semester is a financial accounting course and next semester is a financial engineering course. Then you select from a group of subjects. I selected three courses...

Ming Cao read more
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“The program is structured in a way that you have two courses you must take. This semester is a financial accounting course and next semester is a financial engineering course. Then you select from a group of subjects. I selected three courses linked to corporate finance and financial management. They are mergers and acquisitions, advanced corporate finance, and tax and business strategy. The other course I am taking is investments. Other people in my class who are interested in quantitative finance take courses in options and futures and even computer science. Still other people take courses in stats. The choices are there. The flexibility is quite good.

This program is quite unique. The others are more quantitative and technical. But this program is pretty flexible. You can choose the path you want to take. I want to focus on corporate finance. This program can give me the opportunity to choose this path compared to a financial engineering program that focused on more quantitative skills.

I’m interested in learning how to run a company financially. At the same time, I love to communicate with people. I want to become a CFO of a Chinese company. Chinese companies really lack this type of finance professionals right now. I want to go back and contribute.

After I finish at MIT Sloan, I’ll be joining General Motors New York Treasurers Office as an analyst. It’s a rotational program, and it’s a dream job for me because I’m really interested in corporate finance and this is the most interesting time to join this company.

This is exactly what I wanted to do. In my application essay and I wrote something like I wanted to join a big corporation after my graduation and I preferred a rotational program. I want to work there 5 years then maybe I could transfer to China. It’s like my dream is realized! I’m really happy!”

Ming Cao

“I came into the MFin program directly from a BS in Engineering. The only internship that I had in financial services was with Goldman Sachs in New York. That first introduced me to finance and that’s what kind of got me excited and wanting to...

James Saliba read more
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“I came into the MFin program directly from a BS in Engineering. The only internship that I had in financial services was with Goldman Sachs in New York. That first introduced me to finance and that’s what kind of got me excited and wanting to study MFin after my junior year."

Coming from an engineering background, although I knew that I wanted to do finance I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to focus on in finance particularly. The program showed me that within financial services, there was operations, there was risk management, and there was sales and trading. 

But, I had done an engineering internship on a water project that in Nicaragua was funded through a microcredit. The applications of engineering didn’t excite me as much as what I saw in finance there, seeing how these projects come about, and how they get funded. I wanted to focus on microcredit and microfinance. Something in an emerging market. That was what really excited me. I figured my best opportunity to do that would be to go to a big financial services firm.

That’s not what ended up happening.

I had no intention of interviewing with consulting firms. But as part of the summer career orientation, people from the CDO mentioned to me that consulting is really something that could be good for you. And that’s how I first started interviewing with them, consulting firms, and turns out that’s where I’ll be next year.

Actually, the consulting firm that I ended up going with were looking for finance-oriented MBAs. I was really surprised when I got to the interviews, and talking with other candidates after the interviews, how difficult they thought some of the finance questions were. But they weren’t Master of Finance students. Although this was very early on, and we had only sort of, sort of kicked off the semester, I was still able to answer, very competently, questions regarding finance. I was really surprised at how well I was able to answer their questions. The program had me very well prepared. I was really surprised that how quickly I was able to learn things from the program, and how quickly I was able to apply them.

As soon as we showed up in the summer, we were being prepped for recruitment. The CDO brought consultants to teach us how to interview with financial services firms. They taught us how to write resumes, how to write cover letters – everything you can think of that has to do with recruiting, so that we’d be comfortable when we got to that point. They worked with us on everything from the actual interview to the ‘elevator pitch.’

I felt very prepared when I actually in front of an interviewer. After the mock interviews at the CDO, every interview I had, it was very comfortable.

The Newtons and Bernoullis of finance are here at MIT today."

James Saliba

“When I just entered the program, I was interested in a lot of things, both in quantitative analysis as well as fundamental research. I pictured myself in a lot of roles, but without a concrete concept regarding which role requires which set of...

Sha Na read more
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“When I just entered the program, I was interested in a lot of things, both in quantitative analysis as well as fundamental research. I pictured myself in a lot of roles, but without a concrete concept regarding which role requires which set of skills, and which area could be most successful for me. Probably I was a little bit too ambitious.

As time went on, we began to experience the recruiting process. And that is when you really realize that you have to narrow down your target and think carefully and hard. After talking to a lot of people here in the program, the CDO, my professors, and advisors, and I finally pinned down around two areas to pursue in the end.

The CDO offer us a lot of guidance. They provide an industry introduction at the beginning, and then job-character matching; best practice for resume and cover letters; mock interviews; and one-on-one instruction. So, basically, you can ask them everything and anything related to recruiting.

I have to say, no matter how much you feel you know about the recruiting process, you cannot feel like you are fully prepared. It’s not a plan on the paper. It’s a real battle. And it’s an interactive dynamic. You take the first step and you wait for the response. How long you’re going to wait, and what you’re going to get, you never know.

Fortunately I had our special CDO career counselor. Whenever I ran into a problem or had an issue, I just shoot him an email and he’s always there. Whenever I meet him, he’s very encouraging and inspiring. He decomposes the questions into simple words before reorganizing and giving me a framework afterwards. And he’s one of the most important people who make me feel like we are taken care of here.”

Sha Na

“During the summer session, there are events that the CDO plans. Some things are basic exposure to finance career paths, such as: ‘This is all the career options you have — everything from trading to venture capital to investment banking.’ But...

Alfredo Ramirez read more
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“During the summer session, there are events that the CDO plans. Some things are basic exposure to finance career paths, such as: ‘This is all the career options you have — everything from trading to venture capital to investment banking.’ But beyond that, they help give a better idea of what exactly is out there. Not just what jobs are out there, but who is actually hiring. From there, they train you on how to respond to the questions you going to be asked in interviews. What exactly are they looking for? How do you sell yourself? How do you create a brand, and how do you market yourself in this very competitive environment?”

Alfredo Ramirez

“As my undergraduate engineering studies were coming to a close, I was looking to move into finance and had to decide between starting work or choosing a graduate school program.  After initially looking into different operations research and...

James Collins read more
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“As my undergraduate engineering studies were coming to a close, I was looking to move into finance and had to decide between starting work or choosing a graduate school program.  After initially looking into different operations research and financial engineering programs, I learned about the flexibility of MIT's Master of Finance degree.  The degree was unlike any other as it was offered in a business school and allowed students to pursue all sorts of different career directions.  For me, this degree has not only academically fulfilling, but it has also helped me in my career goals by opening doors that would have never been available otherwise.”

James Collins